Courtesy of Eric Bland
The South Carolina police officer who fatally shot unarmed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond during a drug sting last year has been fired, Seneca Police Chief John Covington said.
In a statement to NBC News, Covington said Officer Mark Tiller’s last day on the payroll will be Friday.
“This is a ‘Personnel Matter’ and therefore I am unable to provide any further comment or information beyond this statement,” Covington said.
Authorities said Hammond tried to run Tiller over when he saw police lights — an assertion the teen’s family lawyer called “ridiculous” and “offensive.”
Morton, who was not injured, was charged with simple possession of marijuana.
In a statement, a Hammond family lawyer called the decision to fire Tiller “admirable.”
“We want to let Chief Covington know that we appreciate his decision,” the statement said, according to WYFF.
“After Zachary’s death, the Hammonds placed their faith in the justice system and were hoping that Lt. Tiller was going to have to answer for his actions and the decisions he made which resulted in such a senseless death,” it said. “With each passing day the Hammonds never lost hope that Lt. Tiller would in the future never again have the highest honor of serving the public as a police officer, wear the uniform and carry a weapon. It appears that today is such a day.”
Tiller’s lawyer, John Mussetto, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Source: NBC News