Attendees argue at Modesto City Council meeting over police reform, charges against former officer

Local News

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A former Modesto police officer continues to face charges after shooting 29-year-old Trevor Seever at least seven times in December of 2020, resulting in Seever’s death. 

At a Modesto City Council meeting Tuesday, around a dozen members of a far-right group attended to support former officer Joseph Lamantia and criticize the city’s police reform issues. 

It resulted in a clash between proponents of police reform and Proud Boys members saying it is not necessary. 

According to Sean Adam K., “The left has created this atmosphere to promote hatred for police.”

Police stepped in at the meeting to try and separate both sides. At one point, some of the tension spilled outside as people from both sides had a verbal confrontation. 

“We are the Proud Boys, and we will never apologize,” said Cory Runyan.

Those with the Proud Boys advocated for charges to be dropped against Lamantia. 

“The officers like him that protect us,” Runyan said.

In released body camera footage of the deadly shooting, Lamantia is seen driving up to Church of the Brethren on Woodland Avenue on his own on Dec. 29 around 11:30 a.m.

He rushes out of his patrol car and is heard shouting, “Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” He then shoots at Seever four times.

Several yards away, Seever is kneeling on the ground with his hands raised when the officer tells him to put his hands up and immediately shoots at Seever three more times.

Lamantia — a 12-year veteran of the department — has been involved in five shootings, according to Interim Police Chief Brandon Gillespie. In a previous interview, the interim chief had confirmed four people had died.

Since the December shooting, Modesto has created a Forward Together initiative, aiming to improve trust and build a relationship between police and the community. 

“We wanted to be proactive,” said Mayor Sue Zwahlen. 

Those against it say it is one-sided. 

“Comprised of only far-left organizations,” Adam K. said. 

Zwahlen says the committee includes the Stanislaus County Sheriff, a Modesto Police Department Internal Affairs representative, the Modesto Police Officers Association, the NAACP, the County’s district attorney, ACLU and more. 

“Making large system changes can be difficult, but we hope that they are eager to work with partners,” Zwahlen said. 

The hope is to get honest feedback from the community regarding policing. Seever’s family was also in attendance and asked for more oversight. 

The committee will meet in a few weeks but four people from the public must still be selected to join. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't miss

More Featured

Latest News

More News