US police kill 73-year-old unarmed Latino suffering from dementia
Police in the US state of California have killed a 73-year-old man of Latino descent, who was unarmed and suffered from dementia.
Francisco Serna was standing in his neighbor’s driveway in Bakersfield on Monday, when he was shot dead by an officer who was responding to a call about an armed man in the area.
Sergeant Gary Carruesco told the Los Angeles Times that the cop shot Serna multiple times after a witness pointed him out as the suspect.
The Kern County coroner said the old man died at the scene after half an hour.
Sergeant Carruesco confirmed that no firearms were found after a search of the area.
The officer who killed Serna was put on administrative leave while the incident was under investigation, Bakersfield Police Department said.
According to Serna’s son Rogelio, the victim was a retired grandfather who was suffering from delusions and other early signs of dementia. According to his son, Serna did not possess any firearms.
Serna’s family said that he often went on walks to overcome to make himself tired before going to bed.
The use of excessive force against minorities has sparked outrage in the US, fueling national debates around racial bias in law enforcement.
This is while, according to a recent report, nearly 70 percent of Latinos in the US have suffered discrimination, more than twice as many who said so a decade earlier.
The research published Tuesday in online journal Social Science & Medicine – Population Health earlier this month, showed that minorities who live in states with tough anti-immigrant policies report higher rates of discrimination.
Joanna Almeida, assistant professor of social work at Simmons College in Boston and lead author of the study, said the links between discrimination and anti-immigrant polices are “chilling” given President-elect Donald Trump’s stance on the issue.
Trump, who takes office in January, has vowed to deport many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US and promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico.