Guest Commentary: Justice for Elisa Serna and Her Family in San Diego County Is Mandatory

Malik Washington

By Malik Washington

“I’m for truth no matter who tells it.  I’m for justice no matter who it is for or against.  I’m a human being first and foremost and as such, I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole”

~ Malcolm X

I’d like you to read this quote again silently and allow it to resonate in your heart, mind, and soul.  The 2022-2023 time span has been one of the deadliest times for detainees housed inside local and county jails in the State of California. Sadly, we have broken historical records for in-custody deaths.

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45 People Have Died in LA County Jails This Year

When our loved ones and community members die in the custody of various sheriff departments throughout the State of California and elsewhere, accountability and justice are rarely ever obtained.  We have to fight tooth and nail for everything we get from law enforcement agencies responsible for the deaths of our loved ones; it often takes years.

On or around November 6, 2019, a young, beautiful, and intelligent Latina woman named Elisa Serna was placed in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  Elisa was pregnant and going through alcohol withdrawal.  Elisa was refused proper medical care that she desperately needed and, as a result, she died while housed at La Colinas Jail in Santee, California.

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The trial for those responsible for Elisa’s death is approaching.  My partner, Gale, and I encourage the activist community in San Diego and beyond to rally behind Elisa’s family and demand justice for Elisa.  Without community involvement, Elisa will be forgotten and we refuse to allow that to happen.

Gale found a short YouTube video from Elisa’s mother, Paloma, and her father, Michael, that we highly encourage you to view and share.  Lastly, we want to share a quote that I discovered while watching the Equalizer 2.  My favorite actor, Denzel Washington, starred in Equalizer 2, and one of the characters in the movie, Miles, had this to say: “My grandma said if you don’t remember somebody out loud, they die twice.”

We at Destination Freedom & Destination Freedom Media Group remember Elisa Serna out loud.  We desperately ask you to follow us and also to rally behind this family that needs us as this trial approaches.

Thank you.

My partner and colleague, Malik Washington, raised the issue with me THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ELISA IS EXTREMELY SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR BROTHER, MAURICE MONK, AT SANTA RITA JAIL. There is a custom, policy, and pattern of practice, that continues to leave our loved ones without the care they need once they find themselves in the custody of county jails throughout the country and especially in the State of California.


In the above video, at about 1 minute into the video, it was reported that Nurse Pascua’s supervisor’s testimony is “evidence” that Pascua “followed protocol.”  Alicia Freeze, attorney for Nurse Pascua, stood there cold-hearted and with a BIG SMILE on her face stating that the Director of Nursing informed Ms. Freeze that Nurse Pascua’s followed protocol and Elisa’s death was not the fault of her client.  What!  I suggest Ms. Freeze review the video that everyone else saw and stated that Ms. Freeze’s client stood there looking at Elisa and let her die.  Standing there watching a person die and not rendering aid does not constitute “a disregard for human life” or “your behavior is not going to cause great bodily injury or death”?

Below is the video of the San Diego County D.A. (at about a minute into the video) who provides a verbal review of what took place in the video that was shown in the courtroom.  From the accounts of the District Attorney, Nurse Pascua did not follow proper medical procedures, Nurse Pascua did not render aid, and ended up walking away from Elisa and closing her cell door.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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