Modesto police release body camera footage after officer shoots, kills unarmed man

Local News

Warning: Some viewers may find the video below disturbing.

The Latest (Wednesday, Jan. 6):

An undated photo of Trevor Seever sent to FOX40 by his mother.

Trevor Seever’s mother, Darlene Ruiz, sent FOX40 the following statement after police released footage of her son’s shooting death:

#JusticefortrevorTrevor was shot and murdered by officer Joseph Lamantia. This is the 4th person he has shot and killed. He has been charged with excessive force and also beat & release tactics. My son was unarmed and was brutally murdered when he had his hand up and complying with officer Lamantia.

Darlene Ruiz

Seever’s funeral is on Friday and a protest organized by Black Lives Matter Turlock will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. outside the Modesto Police Department.

Original story below:

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Modesto Police Department released body camera footage captured as an officer shot and killed an unarmed man last Tuesday.

Officer Joseph Lamantia, a 12-year veteran of the police department, shot 29-year-old Trevor Seever around 11:30 a.m. Dec. 29 behind the Church of the Brethren on Woodland Avenue.

Seever later died from his wounds at a local hospital, according to police.

The police department released a 911 call from Seever’s sister who told dispatch her brother claimed he was coming over to their family home with a gun.

“My brother bought a gun last night and he said that he’s walking over here, and just to watch what happens to us,” she says in the recording.

Police say a recent officer safety bulletin was sent to officers as they responded to the 911 call.

The bulletin detailed Seever’s prior arrests and interactions with police, as well as posts found on his Instagram page that included a screenshot of messages. In the messages, police say Seever wrote, “All I want for Christmas is another dead MPD officer,” and, “A good cop is a dead cop.”

In his body camera footage, Officer Lamantia is seen driving up to the church on his own. 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.

The 29-year-old starts yelling in pain and Lamantia reloads his gun behind a tree.

“I can’t breathe!” Seever says in the video.

Police say Lamantia waited for backup and a ballistic shield before giving Seever first aid. The officer is seen walking from patrol vehicle to patrol vehicle to find a medical kit before walking back and tending to Seever where he had been shot multiple times.

Police say they later learned Seever did not have a gun when he was shot.

Officer Lamantia has been placed on paid administrative leave and three separate investigations between the Modesto Police Department and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office have been launched.

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