Its definitely a sad story to see and report on any death of a teenager, especially during this post-Trayvon era. And I try to avoid stories like this, but by request of a few emails I was asked to put this up not only for the remembrance of the victim, but to definitely bring awareness to the issue.
Early yesterday, an 18 year old by the name of Israel Hernandez (who also goes by the tag “Reefa”) was tagging an abandoned building on 71st and Collins. His two friends served as a lookouts, but after being spotted by Miami Beach PD, a chase ensued and Israel was caught and tasered. Soon after, Israel laid motionless and was pronounced dead.
(WSVN) – According to Hernandez’ friends, they said the officers shoved Hernandez against a wall and was then motionless on the ground. “His body was on the floor like motionless, and they were all just laughing, “said Souza.
Fernandez and Souza said the officers were high-fiving and congratulating each other as their friend was in need of medical help. “That made me feel terrible inside. These cops are gruesome, and they don’t really care,” said Fernandez.
There’s an open investigation to find out if it was indeed excess force that killed the victim, or some other related medical condition. Either way, its a lot of wrongs on both sides of this, but its also another unnecessary loss of life to a seemingly good kid doing rebellious teenager stuff that a lot of you reading this do or have done.
Above you can see the report by WSVN and below, you can see a statement MIA Skateshop posted, which stated that they were definitely familiar with Israel.
Miami Beach Police released a statement:
At 5:14 a.m. on August 6, 2013, Miami Beach Police Officers observed a subject vandalizing private property (graffiti) on 71st Street and Collins Avenue. As Officers approached, the subject fled the scene, ensuing a foot pursuit by Officers. During the foot pursuit, the subject encountered Officers face to face at 71st and Harding Avenue, and ignored Officers’ commands to stop. In order to affect his arrest, an Officer deployed his conducted electrical weapon (TASER). The subject was placed into custody.
Once in custody, the subject displayed signs of medical duress. Miami Beach Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported the subject to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The subject has been identified as Israel Hernandez.
At this time, the cause of death has not been determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Autopsy and toxicology results are still pending as well.
This incident is an open and ongoing investigation.
The City of Miami Beach would like to extend their condolences to the family of Israel Hernandez.