In Miami beach, the family members of a Florida teen, Israel Hernandez who died after being Tasered by a police officer, wants answers from authorities.
Officers saw aspiring artist Israel Hernandez spray-painting the side of a vacant McDonald’s off Collins Avenue, according to the Miami Beach police. The officers ordered him to stop but he started walking and the officers pursued him until he was caught.
In a statement police said, “In order to affect his arrest, an officer deployed his conducted electrical weapon (TASER) but afterward, Hernandez displayed signs of medical duress”. He was transported to a hospital at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday where he was pronounced dead.
Hernandez’s father told CNN, “We’re in a country that defends human rights – a country that sets an example and dares to ask countries that use excessive force. That is my son’s case. Excessive force”.
According to his sister Offir Hernandez, “He was an amazing artist, a very passionate person, a very passionate artist. It’s unfair to end his life for something he loved”.
The case is under investigation, said Miami Beach police. The medical examiner’s office told CNN that Autopsy and toxicology results for Hernandez are pending.
According to a statement, City officials have been in contact with the Hernandez family “to personally extend their condolences and provide assurances of a full and fair investigation”.
Jorge Mercado was the police officer who used a Taser; he has been placed on paid administrative leave.
A police spokesman said, “We’ve never had someone die from a tasing before. We’ve only had Tasers eight or nine years. Now everyone is issued one when we start working here”.
A friend of Hernandez, Thiago Souza, said police looked “almost like they were proud of what they did” after using that force to control Hernandez. “They’re all congratulating each other and all that. They were all clapping over his body and like giving high fives and laughing”.
According to a 2006 report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ECDs “are not likely to cause serious injury or loss of life for suspects or law enforcement officers, except in situations where certain medical conditions and drug use are factors”. But according to the human rights group Amnesty International, forty two individuals in the U.S died after being shocked with Tasers in 2012.
Hernandez’s critics said that he should stop when he was ordered but Hernandez’s girlfriend said, “He was the farthest thing from a thug. He ran because he was scared. You know, he’s just a kid. He only weighed 140 pounds. He was just a child in so many ways. He was such a pure and innocent person”.
Michael Kramer is a highly successful criminal defense attorney specializing in DWI, armed robbery, theft, battery and domestic violence problems, among other types of cases.