A Bakersfield, Ca., police officer shot and killed an unarmed 73-year-old man on Monday. Family members said Francisco Serna was suffering from dementia and was shot nine times as he took a walk outside his home in the early hours of the morning, reports The Guardian. Bakersfield is in Kern County, where a Guardian investigation last year showed that law enforcement officers killed more people per capita than in any other U..S. county.
Police said officers had received a report of a man armed with a gun in Serna’s neighborhood. When officers arrived in the area after 12.30 a.m. on Monday, a witness pointed to Serna standing in a driveway before an officer fatally shot him, according to the police account. Bakersfield police spokesman, Sgt. Gary Carruesco confirmed that Serna did not have a firearm and no weapon was recovered from the scene. Serna’s son, Rogelio, said in a Facebook post that his father had been “murdered” by police and the family wanted “the truth to be told”. In 2015, 14 people were killed by police in Kern County, with a population of just under 875,000. In the same time frame, 10 people were killed by the New York City police department; the city is home to nearly 10 times as many people and about 23 times as many law enforcement officers.