White teen killed by cop gets minimal reaction from #AllLivesMatter movement
On July 26, Zachary Hammond -- a 19-year-old boy who lived in Seneca, South Carolina -- sat in his parked car in a Hardee's parking lot with a woman who was there to sell a bag of marijuana. Little did they know that the marijuana buyer was actually an undercover police officer.
Shortly after the officer arrived, Hammond was reportedly shot and killed by another police officer.
Police report that the officer who shot Zachary was a man in uniform who was at the scene to support the undercover cop. He approached Hammond's vehicle, but there is disagreement and controversy surrounding what happened next.
John Covington, a Seneca Police Chief, said that the officer shot through Hammond's car window out of fear for his life when Zachary Hammond allegedly headed towards the officer with his car. Covington also claims that the bullets hit Hammond's upper torso. On the other hand, the Hammond family's lawyer, Eric Bland, says that the officer shot Hammond twice from behind. He also says that an autopsy supports this claim.
Karl Addis, an Oconee County coroner, should clearly know what happened, but he hasn't come out with a public statement that mentions the direction that the bullets came from.
No matter which direction the bullets were fired from, police say that the gun was fired from near point-blank range through the open window on the driver's side.
Due to the uncertainty and lack of clarity surrounding the situation, Hammond's family is left in a cloud of confusion with a slew of unanswered questions.
These foggy situations aren't new to media. We've seen this before -- and quite recently -- with police shootings in the past year, but this time, the case brings something different: Hammond was white and so was the unidentified officer who shot and killed him.
While the media has succinctly focused on police killings of black Americans, many argue that Hammond's race is the main reason why this story hasn't garnered as much publicity and attention in the media.
There hasn't been a prominent public outcry like there has been with other police shootings in the past year, and many people are saying that his race is factored into the response (or lack thereof) surrounding his death.
The #AllLivesMatter movement has barely spoken about Zachary's death, nearly ignoring the fact that it happened. On the other hand, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken a clear stand, speaking up about the death of the 19-year-old and implementing their broader belief that every life matters.
In lieu of the lack of media coverage on this story, Twitter has been taking the most active role in making sure Zachary Hammond's name and story are heard.
Update: On Wednesday, August 5, the Hammond family released the results from the private autopsy which revealed that both bullets entered Hammond's body from the back. The autopsy shows that the second bullet proved to be fatal, entering from the back of Hammond's left side and passing through his chest, eventually piercing his heart and lungs. Coroner Karl E. Addis also added that they don't know how Hammond's body was positioned at the time that he was shot. The Seneca police refuse to identify the officer who was involved in the Zachary Hammond case, but they stated that he has been placed on administrative leave.
See the gallery below for a collection of some of the tweets about Zachary Hammond's death:
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