Official: No state charges for officer who fatally shot man

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Why Was Zachary Hammond Shot by Police?

SENECA, S.C. (AP) — No criminal charges will be filed against a South Carolina police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old during a drug sting, a state prosecutor announced Tuesday.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams said that after reviewing the case, she has determined Seneca officer Mark Tiller won't face state charges. The U.S. Department of Justice also is investigating and could bring federal charges later.

Adams made the announcement about state charges after meeting with the family of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond who was killed in the July 26 incident.

SEE MORE: Zachary Hammond family lawyer makes explosive allegations against cops

"We respectfully disagree," said Ronald Richter Jr., an attorney for the Hammond family. "We had a very long meeting with the prosecutor this morning. We respect the work she did, but we completely disagree with the decision not to go forward."

Richter said that the meeting was the first time the family and attorneys got a chance to see the police cruiser video of the shooting, which occurred in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.

"That was the most important thing to finally get some answers to what happened to their son that night," Richter told The Associated Press. "It was very painful for them to watch that, but for the first time they have a better understanding of what took place."

Adams' statement said she would not release additional information about the case until federal authorities decide whether to charge the officer. But the State Law Enforcement Division said that it would release the video and other documents Tuesday. Media outlets had earlier sued the agency seeking that material.

Click through to see more reaction on Zachary Hammond's death:

Zachary Hammond's death reactions on Twitter
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Official: No state charges for officer who fatally shot man
#ZacharyHammond isn't going to get the outrage he deserves because it would force folks to admit their consistent defense of police is wrong
Where are all the #AllLivesMatter people when it comes to #ZacharyHammond? All y'all looking funny in the light.
ANOTHER TEENAGE BABY KILLED BY POLICE shot in the back, barely 19. this is madness :( #RIP #ZacharyHammond
He won't be labeled a thug but that doesn't mean police aren't grossly out of line. Stop killing us. #ZacharyHammond
Seneca, SC Cop Fatally Shot Teen, #ZacharyHammond, In Back, Not In Self-Defense, Family Says
The truth is, many white people would rather be silent for #ZacharyHammond than speak up for black people.
stand up for #ZacharyHammond not in spite of those #AllLivesMatter folks but because a 19 yo kid was murdered by cops for 3.5 grams of weed
If all lives mattered, why are most of the folks on the #ZacharyHammond hashtag from #BlackLivesMatter? Peace to him and his family.
Stop the extrajudicial police killings! All races are involved! #AllLivesMatter right? #ZacharyHammond
If you post #AllLivesMatter in your TL, then you better talk about #ZacharyHammond. A unarmed white kid shot in the back by police.
#AllLivesMatter is not meant to be inclusive it's meant to silence you. This is why the ALM idiots are ignoring this kid. #ZacharyHammond
I think the deafening silence from the #AllLivesMatter tweeters on #ZacharyHammond exposes what it's always been about; racism & hypocrisy.
funny how when we say #BlackLivesMatter, white people say "that's racist, all lives matter!" but y'all quiet for #ZacharyHammond now..
the same people who were shouting #AllLivesMatter are silent now that #ZacharyHammond, a white teen, was shot and killed by the police.
#ZacharyHammond name is getting plastered all over Twitter because #BlackLivesMatter have no problem making sure justice is for EVERYONE.
If you search the hashtag, you'll see that the vast majority of people speaking out for #ZacharyHammond right now are black.
State: *is worried about your safety because you bought $50 worth of marijuana* Also State: *kills you to keep you safe* #ZacharyHammond

Greg Dietterick, the city administrator for Seneca, said in a statement that "we are thankful the investigation has come to an end and shows Lt. Tiller was acting in self-defense. It is now time to start healing Seneca," a community of about 8,200 in upstate South Carolina, a few miles west of Clemson.

Tiller attorney John Mussetto said the officer agrees with the outcome of the investigation. "As stated from day one, Lt. Tiller acted in self-defense and the decision today supports this position," Mussetto said.

Before the shooting, Hammond had taken a woman on a first date, during which they stopped at McDonald's and then drove to Hardee's so Hammond could get a hamburger, according to a federal lawsuit filed by his family.

Seneca police said they were waiting at the Hardee's after an undercover officer arranged a drug deal with the woman. As officers pulled up to Hammond's car with lights flashing, he accelerated to leave, authorities said. The woman was not injured and later was charged with simple possession of marijuana

Tiller has said through his lawyer that he thought Hammond was trying to run him over and fired twice to protect himself. Hammond's family said a private autopsy showed that he was shot in the side and the back, proving the threat had passed.

City lawyers have said the shooting was justified and Tiller shot Hammond in self-defense.

Hammond's family says Tiller threated to blow Hammond's head off. The officer's attorneys deny that.

Lawyer Eric Bland has said the family talked to the woman in the car, looked at private surveillance camera footage and did the private autopsy.

The family's lawsuit says that after paramedics determined Hammond was dead, his body was left for 90 minutes on the ground, where it was bitten and stung by ants. A second officer gave the body a high-five sometime after other investigators arrived, according to the lawsuit.

In legal papers, lawyers have acknowledged that the second officer may have said something about inappropriate contact with Hammond's body.

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Official: No state charges for officer who fatally shot man
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, a protester holds a sign as people rally for 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Department Officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago. McDonald, whose name demonstrators are shouting as they march the streets and plan to shut down the cityâs glitziest shopping corridor on Friday, lived a troubled life full of disadvantages and at least one previous brush with the law. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
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Matthew White protests the shooting death of Michael Brown by police nearly a week ago Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A suburban St. Louis police chief on Friday identified the officer whose fatal shooting ignited days of heated protests, and released documents alleging the teen was killed after a robbery in which he was suspected of stealing a box of cigars. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
CORRECTS THE ID OF THE MALE ON POSTER TO TAMIR RICE - Tomiko Shine holds up a picture of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy fatally shot on Nov. 22 by a rookie police officer, during a protest in response to a grand jury's decision in Ferguson, Mo. to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, at the Department of Justice in Washington, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Protesters across the U.S. have walked off their jobs or away from classes in support of the Ferguson protesters. Rice's death has also sparked community demonstrations against police shootings. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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