Federal authorities are opening a civil rights investigation into the case of a white South Carolina teenager fatally shot by a police officer, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.
An FBI field office in Columbia, the U.S. attorney for South Carolina and the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division will participate in the investigation into the death of Zachary Hammond, 19, who was shot July 26.
Hammond’s family had asked the DOJ to investigate the death “with the same intensity and thoroughness as it has demonstrated in other interracial settings,” according to a statement reported earlier by CNN.
The federal investigation will run parallel to another state-level probe, according to officials cited in reports.
A lawyer for the family said Sunday the unarmed teenager posed no public risk “other than a possible minor possession of marijuana” when he was shot in a restaurant parking lot.
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SOURCE: The Hill, Jesse Byrnes