SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) --- Four years ago, Isaiah Hammett was shot and killed inside a South City home during a SWAT raid. Throughout the years, his family has continued to call for justice and changes.
Hammett’s family, spokespersons from the Arch City Defenders and Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repressions will speak during a protest at 11:30 a.m. Monday in front of the St. Louis Police Officers Association Headquarters on Hampton Ave.
Hammett, 21, was shot and killed while exchanging gunfire with SWAT team members who were executing a search warrant for illegal narcotics and drugs at the house on June 7, 2017, according to police. According to a lawsuit filed in 2019, his family claims police used a battering ram to break down the home's door and immediately set off a flash-bang device before entering the house firing their guns. Disputing police’s account, loved ones stated the slain man was unaware who was attacking the home and retreated to his disabled grandfather’s bedroom to out of his bed and onto the floor during the gunfire.
Echoing similar statements told News 4 in 2017.
“He’s been taking care of his grandfather since he was 16 years old and he threw his grandfather on the floor and when he thought somebody was kicking in the door he didn’t know it was the police,” Hammett’s grandmother, Dawn Atwell, said during an 2017 interview.
Four months later, the home where Hammett was shot and killed was raided by the FBI and police. The family said the raid reflects a pattern of police harassment Hammett faced prior to his death.
The family plans to demand four changes to the Force Investigative Unit (FIU) and the SWAT team:
- The creation of systems for families to get timely support and information about their loved ones' whereabouts and receive financial support for necessary costs.
- The relocation of the Force Investigative Unit (FIU) into a civilian authority.
- Defunding SWAT, as part of the continued defunding of the police, and the simultaneous funding of community services.
- The new City Administration and Circuit Attorney’s Office break the log jam of FIU reports so that appropriate prosecutions can proceed.