The Free Thought Project has reported on countless killer cops before, many of them with several notches in their belts for killing the citizens they are sworn to protect. However, Modesto police officer Joseph Lamantia, a 12-year veteran of the force, has shot five people, killing four of them. His most recent victim was Trevor Seever, 29, who finally got this killer cop arrested. Lamantia shot Seever in the back on December 29, 2020.
Lamantia was fired and charged with voluntary manslaughter three months after he killed Seever. Seever was unarmed and posed no threat when Lamantia killed him. He was on his knees, had his hands in the air, and was complying with the officer’s orders.
Now, two years later and the state is attempting to whitewash what was nothing short of an execution. As Lamantia’s case moves through the court, officials have brought in a “use-of-force expert” to justify the killer cop’s actions.
Jeffrey Martin was hired by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to give his “expert” testimony and did so by claiming that Seever—who was on his knees, unarmed, and more than 50 feet away—was a threat. On Friday, Martin concluded that Lamantia’s use of force was reasonable.
“Because if the officer waits to see a…movement that clearly demonstrates what that intent is, by the time that movement is completed, muzzle flash might be what the officer is seeing and it might be too late for the officer to effectively defend (himself),” Martin said, according to the Modesto Bee.
According to police, on that fateful day, Lamantia responded to a 911 call about Seever, who was alleged to have made “vague threats” against his family. Seever’s sister, Allison Seever said she called 911 after her brother said he sent a text saying he bought a gun and said “that he’s walking over here and just to watch what happens to us,” according to a video report of the incident released by the Modesto Police Department this week.
When police released the call, the Seever family said police edited out the part of the call where they told police that Seever was likely bluffing and would never own a gun. Allison was clear to tell police that Trevor was not a threat and that they wanted “help” for him. However, this was absent from the edited call publicly released by police.
Also, because police monitor social media, they had Seever on their radar for some comments. To be clear, Seever is alleged to have made extremely distasteful comments on Instagram but none of them were illegal.
Interim Police Chief Brandon Gillespie told the media the dispatcher recognized Seever’s name that day because of an officer safety bulletin issued over a comment he made on Instagram weeks before. According to Gillespie, a post stated, “A good cop is a dead cop,” and, “All I want for Christmas is another dead MPD officer.”
Comments like these are rife below every video of police brutality on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the like.
While these are terrible things to say, neither of them is illegal. What’s more, police actually went to Seever’s home, spoke with him, and closed out the investigation after determining Seever did not make them. The officer safety bulletin was then reissued, lowering Seever’s threat.
Nevertheless, when Lamantia was dispatched to the scene that day, he had these comments in his head and they undoubtedly influenced the way he would handle the situation.
As the video shows, Lamantia, who had shot four people, killing three of them, before killing Seever that day, did not hesitate when he got out of his cruiser after locating the man. Within just 10 seconds of arriving on the scene, Lamantia fired four rounds toward the back of Seever. Seever was so far away, that Lamantia had no way of knowing it was even him.
After Seever fell to the ground, Lamantia ordered him to show his hands. Seever is able to get to his knees and complies by putting his hands visibly in the air. He is not a threat at all, yet this killer cop decides to dump three more rounds into his back, finishing him off like an animal.
Seever’s only suspected crime was making vague threats, a misdemeanor if and only if his family would have pressed charges. And for this, he was publicly executed while on his knees in front of a church.
After Lamantia publicly executed Seever, police went to his home and began searching it and interviewing his mother. They searched the home for 45 minutes and asked multiple questions before they even told her Seever was dead. This act alone is despicable.
“I would have never let them in my house and to go through his stuff had I known they killed my son,” Darlene said. “And they knew that, so they withheld that information on purpose to build a case against my son instead of letting us grieve and doing it the honest way.”
“Trevor was shot and murdered by officer Joseph Lamantia,” Darlene Ruiz told FOX40 at the time. “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.”
Ruiz said her son needed help. “I will have to live and die knowing that we are the ones who called 911, and he’s now gone because of that,” she said.
“Trevor’s not putting any civilians in danger; he’s not putting any officers in danger; nobody is in danger, so why are there shots being fired?” Kyle Seever said. “That cop just got out (of his car) and started shooting at him. That makes no sense to me at all. How you can not identify yourself (or even) identify who you’re shooting.”
When watching the video below, it is entirely clear that the violence doled out by this killer cop was entirely unnecessary yet the state will likely win its case based on its own expert’s testimony.
This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.