The family of a Seneca teen fatally shot by a police officer in July has settled a lawsuit against the department for $2.15 million.
An attorney representing the parents of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond said Wednesday there will be no further legal proceedings between them and the Oconee County town of roughly 8,100 residents. Hammond was killed by a Seneca Lt. Mark Tiller during an attempted drug sting on Hammond’s passenger. Tiller said he fired in self-defense after the unarmed Hammond drove towards him in an attempt to flee. Dashcam video released last fall seems to verify that Hammond was driving towards the officer in an effort to escape, although the victim’s family disputes that Tiller’s life was ever in danger.
“Rather than endure a lengthy litigation process, both parties agree that an early resolution will allow a platform for healing for the Hammond family and the City of Seneca that is outside the spotlight of litigation,” attorney Eric Bland wrote.
Seneca’s city council had approved an initial $250,000 settlement last week. Wednesday’s settlement does not admit any fault on the part of Tiller, his superiors, or the city.
Tenth Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams has said Tiller’s actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges. A federal civil rights investigation continues into the shooting, however.