Lawmaker wants case of officer who shot teen reopened

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2015 10:06 AM

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's House minority leader wants the state's top prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the shooting death of a 19-year-old by a Seneca police officer during a drug sting.

Rep. Todd Rutherford told local media outlets Thursday that he watched the dashcam video of the July 26 incident in which Zachary Hammond was killed and says Hammond wasn't trying to run down the officer. Rutherford wants Attorney General Alan Wilson to reopen the case.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams announced last month that no charges will be brought against officer Mark Tiller, saying the video corroborated Tiller's belief that he was going to be run over.

But Rutherford said Hammond did not try to run down the officer.

"Zach Hammond did nothing but try and get away," Rutherford said. "And in doing so, he lost his life. That's a great injustice. It's an injustice anywhere in the civilized world."

The lawmaker said that Tiller should have been charged.

"The fact that he was not is certainly a disgrace to South Carolina," Rutherford said. "It's a disgrace to this family and they deserve better than that."

Wilson didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Adams told The Greenville News (http://grnol.co/1Psk73L ) that she would not object if lawmakers decide that the attorney general should deal with all police-involved shootings. But she said until then she will do the job she was elected to do.

She also said Rutherford is a liberal Democrat trying to advance a political agenda. She added that Rutherford, an attorney, knows that the standard in criminal court for a conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.