Family Of Xander Mann Files Lawsuit After Teen Killed In Modesto Officer-Involved Shooting
MODESTO (CBS13) – A lawsuit has been filed by the family of the 16-year-old Xander Mann, who was killed by a Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy after a 20-mile car chase from a traffic stop ended with a pit maneuver and shots fired.
The lawsuit claims the traffic stop was botched and the car chase never should have happened.
Mann's family is now demanding justice and says bodycam footage released is missing crucial moments before their loved one died. The family's attorney says the claim against the county is just the beginning of that search for justice.
"It's a horribly botched traffic stop," said family attorney Mark Merin.
Merin expects Stanislaus County to reject the claim, after which he said a federal lawsuit will be filed by the family for alleged negligence, wrongful death, excessive use of force and violation of civil rights.
Bodycam footage shows Xander Mann speeding away from a sheriff's deputy. The 20-mile pursuit ended in a pit maneuver crash. That's when the sheriff's office says Mann sped towards Deputy Gerardo Zazueta, who opened fire.
It was a moment that could be heard in the released footage, but not seen.
Merin says Sheriff Jeff Dirkse's explanation for why the body camera didn't capture the shooting doesn't cut it. In a video news release of the new footage, Sheriff Dirske said due to the rapid nature of the unfolding events, Deputy Zazueta was not able to activate his body camera during this time.
The released footage shows several officers converging on the vehicle after it crashed into a pole and once Mann was shot. There were reportedly four other teenagers in the car at the time of the shooting. Two others were shot but survived.
Mann died later on in the week at the hospital
The sheriff's office also claimed Mann attempted to use his vehicle as a weapon.
The family claims Deputy Zazueta was never in any danger and should have called off the chase.
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