In a truly sad report, a special needs girl from California was shot by law enforcement after her parents called 911 to request medical assistance for her. As is to be expected, local residents are outraged by the incident. A vigil held for the girl on Saturday night turned into an all out protest that ended in front of the sheriff’s office.
18-year-old Yanira Serrano was a beautiful young girl with special needs. On Tuesday night, she was refusing to take her medication, so her family called to request the assistance of paramedics. Although they had done this in the past to receive help, it proved to be a fatal mistake this time. Instead of paramedics, a sherif was sent to the scene and he discharged his weapon just 20 seconds after arriving, killing Serrano. Neighbors reported that she was shot in the back, although that has not been corroborated by the sheriff’s department.
Tiny Serrano, Yanira’s brother, is understandably devastated. He commented:
“She has special needs and we just want answers. Who are we supposed to call now when we need help when who is supposed to help us is killing our kids? We want answers. Why didn’t they use a Taser? We just want to know what really happened. She was really loving and caring, really sweet with my parents. I still can’t believe this happened to my sister.”
The story being told by the sheriff’s office differs from that of the girl’s family. They are claiming that they were called because Serrano was wandering her neighborhood and was possibly armed. The deputy who shot her claims that he was in fear of his life at the time. A different deputy, Rebecca Rosenblatt, told the local news station:
“There was a confrontation where the deputy was in fear for his life and as a result he fired his weapon. We have deputies that were responding to the scene with the information that somebody was acting in a psychotic nature armed with a knife and won’t put it down even for her own family.”
When you see the photo of Yanira Serrano, it is very hard to imagine anyone feeling threatened by the teenager. Especially not a sheriff’s deputy with a gun.
The deputy who shot Serrano has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
This is the kind of story that makes you want to think twice before involving police. Serrano’s parents have spent the better part of their lives paying for law enforcement with their tax dollars and that investment has been repaid with the murder of their daughter. How messed up is that?
Reports of police brutality run rampant in the news these days. While it is certainly justified to shoot an aggressor in self defense, that excuse seems to be used by law enforcement as a scapegoat for other unjustified shootings. It’s hard to tell exactly what happened in this case with the little bit of evidence that has been released at this point.
Do you think the sheriff’s deputy was justified in shooting Yanira Serrano? Or is this another tragic case of misconduct in law enforcement? Let us know how all of this makes you feel in the comments section.