Police Kill 73-Year-Old Unarmed Man With Dementia –Take Action

Target: Lyle Martin, Bakersfield Police Chief

Goal: Investigate the death of an unarmed 73-year-old man with dementia who was shot seven times by police in Bakersfield, California.

Instead of finding a weapon on the body of 73-year-old Francisco Serna, police found a wooden crucifix. According to his daughter, Laura Serna, police were aware that her father suffered from early onset dementia. Police deny that they were aware of this, despite a recording that has audio of a dispatcher mentioning his dementia. This tragic incident could have been avoided if police had learned more about the situation before engaging the man.

According to CNN, his family says that he liked to go for short walks when he couldn’t sleep. It is presumably on one of these walks that he approached his neighbor and asked where she lived. The woman saw the edge of the crucifix sticking out from his pocket and assumed it was a revolver. The police were called. After he was identified he kept his hands in his pockets, which prompted police to shoot at him 7 times. There were only 20 to 30 seconds between when he was identified and when he was shot dead. It is the responsibility of the police to do more to understand and diffuse situations like this.

The Washington Post has tallied 912 fatal police shootings so far in the U.S. in 2016. Meanwhile police in the U.K. have only killed 4 people. Excessive use of force must be investigated, monitored, and reformed if we are to restore faith in the judicial system. Sign this petition to demand that this man’s death is seriously investigated.


Dear Police Chief Martin,

I encourage you to seriously investigate the death of an unarmed 73-year-old man with dementia that was shot seven times by Bakersfield police. You have denied claims that the police force knew the man had dementia, but a recording has been uncovered proving that the dispatcher told police that this man had dementia.

More should have been done to understand the situation, like contacting the man’s family to ascertain if he really had a gun. This situation should have only called for lower levels of force at most.

Please investigate this incident and work to reform the way that officers respond to situations like this before other families and communities have to suffer this kind of devastating loss.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: CNN Report by Steve Almasy and Mayra Cuevas

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One Comment

  1. Ameriacn oinker pig cops are the scum of the planet.They have an attrcious reputation as animal murderers, corrupt,uneducated,scum.The only good yank cop is a dead one!

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