The family of a schizophrenic woman shot and killed by a San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputy last year is demanding county supervisors give law enforcement more training when they come face to face with mentally ill people.
On June 3, 2014, 18-year-old Yanira Serrano-Garcia was killed in Half Moon Bay by a deputy after her family called 911 asking for medical help. Less than a minute after arriving on scene, Deputy Menh Trieu shot and killed her as she was allegedly wielding a knife and heading toward him.
Her brother, Tony Serrano-Garcia spoke to the board of supervisors on Tuesday, to demand that all law enforcement receive crisis intervention training. “I am left with nothing,” he told them, “nothing but pain.”
Supervisors, including Don Horsely, listened quietly to Serrano-Garcia as he spoke on what would have been his sister's 19th birthday.
Several others spoke out too, also requesting more deputies. In the audience, people wore pink and green ribbons – Serrano-Garcia’s favorite colors – to show support. The family has already filed a lawsuit, alleging the shooting violated the Fourth Amendment's limits on police authority.
The San Mateo County District Attorney determined the deputy acted in self-defense.