MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Separate videos filmed by officer body cameras and a bystander with a cell phone that show the killing of a man by Modesto Police were released Tuesday by the Modesto Police Department and the law firm employed by the family of the deceased.
Police shot and killed Paul Chavez Jr., 30, while responding to a call of a disturbance on July 14.
A lawyer representing the family of Chavez, civil rights attorney John Burris, said the family called police and said Chavez was intoxicated and “creating a family disturbance at their residence.”
Body cam footage released by the police department shows police approaching Chavez lying down on the ground in front of a home. Chavez gets up and beings to walk along to a second lawn as officers follow him.
Video shows one of the two police officers firing a taser at Chavez, who appears to pick off the darts. Seconds later, the officers continue to shout to put down the hitch and the second officer points his gun at Chavez and fires.
Seconds later, Chavez staggers and falls to the ground in a flowerbed.
Chavez was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries, according to the Modesto Police Department.
Police said the California Department of Justice determined that the incident did not qualify for investigation under Assembly Bill 1506, which required the state department to investigate the shooting death of an unarmed civilian.
Lawyers for the family of Chavez also announced the filing of a federal lawsuit alleging his and other family members’ civil rights were violated.
“This shocking new video shows the officers had plenty of safe room to move and step back from Mr. Chavez and deescalate the situation,” said Ben Nisenbaum, another lawyer representing Chavez’s family. “Instead, in a matter of seconds, they chose to unnecessarily tase and shoot a young father of four to death.”