Bakersfield’s new police chief addressed the media about the shooting of an unarmed, elderly man.Chief Lyle Martin (technically, still the Assistant Chief) outlined details Monday about what lead to the shooting of 73-year-old Francisco Serna on Silver Birch Avenue in southwest Bakersfield. He says calls came in to 911 of a man acting strangely and carrying a gun, believed to be a revolver. In fact, Serna only had his hand in his pocket and had no weapon. Responding officers were told by one neighbor, “There he is!” as Serna came out his front door and walked towards a group of seven cops. They commanded him to stop and show his hands but he kept walking until Officer Reagan Selman fired seven shots. Martin says no lower level of force was attempted and he doesn’t know why only Selman fired and not the other six police. Selman has been with the force since last year. The Serna family is calling for U.S. Justice Department intervention for a civil rights violation and is asking the State Attorney General to conduct and independent investigation.

(Pictured is the candlelight vigil at the Serna home.)

Sean Michael Lisle