Bakersfield, CA — At 12:30 am on Monday morning, Bakersfield police shot and killed 73-year-old Francisco Serna as he stood in his driveway. Immediately following the shooting, police released details noting that Serna was killed for ‘brandishing a gun.’ However, early Tuesday morning, we’ve now learned that there was never a gun and police fabricated that vital piece of information.
When police arrived on scene, they fired multiple shots at Serna, hitting and killing him.
According to Serna’s family, he was in the beginning stages of dementia and occasionally experienced delusions. Serna’s oldest son told the LA Times that Serna had difficulty sleeping and frequently went on late-night walks to tire himself out before bed.
Police were called to his home at least two times before because Serna had accidentally activated his medical alarm, Rogelia Serna said. However, those incidents were resolved without the need for any violence or charges.
Bakersfield police Sgt. Gary Carruesco did not confirm if police had ever responded to Serna’s residence before.
Police are remaining tight-lipped in this incident releasing very few details, including the actual reason for the call. It is not known whether police were responding to the medical alarm or not as the Bakersfield police have changed their story about the gun.
Originally, police claimed that the call was prompted by a report of a man with a firearm. However, much to the police department’s chagrin, investigators canvased the area and found no such weapon.
When police initially claimed Serna brandished a firearm, his family was quick to negate this falsehood.
“My dad did not own a gun. He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life,” Rogelio Serna said. “He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets.”
Police also searched inside Serna’s home and found no evidence of a firearm.
The LA Times reported that when police arrived, a witness pointed to a man in the driveway of a residence. An officer fired several rounds at the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
However, this detail suggests no reason for the officer to have discharged his weapon a whopping 9 times, according to the family.
Bakersfield police have been hinting at the implementation of body cameras for well over a year now. However, they have yet to make the purchase, because they say the cost is too high. Aside from the high cost it also makes it easier to exonerate cops who kill mentally ill grandpas in the middle of the night.
The officer who killed this innocent grandpa is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Bakersfield police also have a tainted and violent history.
In November 2014, 22-year-old Ramiro James Villegas, who went by the name James De La Rosa, was killed by jumpy police in Bakersfield after allegedly “reaching for his waistband.” He was unarmed.
In June of this year, video surfaced of multiple Bakersfield Police Department officers using batons and tasers to bring down a mentally ill man for the heinous crime of jaywalking. For crossing the road in a manner unfit for the police state, an unarmed mentally ill man who had harmed no one was hospitalized after being severely beaten by cops — who were ruled justified in their actions for enforcing jaywalking laws.
In October of this year, a high school student filed a lawsuit claiming a Bakersfield school police officer tasered him twice for being late to class after having an anxiety attack.
Tyson Reed and his mother, Linda Reed, sued Kern High School District, KHSD Officer Luis Pena, and teacher Brett Bonetti on Sept. 22 in Kern County Superior Court, alleging disability discrimination and civil rights violations.
And the list goes on.
Francisco Serna is a retired father of five children and beloved grandpa and because of trigger happy police, his life was stolen.
On Monday night, Serna’s son Roy broadcast on Facebook live decrying the police killing his dad. “We want the truth to be told,” said Roy. “My father was murdered by Bakersfield Police Department.”
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