Family wants answers in Florida teen's death after Tasering

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http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/us/florida-taser-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t3.

(CNN)  -- The family of a Florida teen who died after being Tasered by police wants answers from authorities in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach police said officers spotted aspiring artist Israel Hernandez spray-painting the side of a vacant McDonald's off Collins Avenue, the city's main drag. Hernandez led them on a foot chase, ignoring commands to stop, until he was cornered, they said.

"In order to affect his arrest, an officer deployed his conducted electrical weapon (TASER)," police said in a prepared statement. But afterward, Hernandez "displayed signs of medical duress" and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"We're in a country that defends human rights -- a country that sets an example and dares to ask countries that use excessive force," his father, also named Israel Hernandez, told CNN. "That is my son's case. Excessive force."

Hernandez and his family moved from Colombia to the United States for a safer life. Now they're mourning their 18-year-old son, whose artwork packs their home.

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Was Taser death excessive force?

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Man shocked with stun gun at work

"He was an amazing artist, a very passionate person, a very passionate artist," said his sister, Offir Hernandez. "It's unfair to end his life for something he loved."

Miami Beach police say they have an "open and ongoing investigation" into Hernandez's death and have extended their condolences to the teen's family. Autopsy and toxicology results for Hernandez are pending, the medical examiner's office told CNN.

Police identified the officer who used the Taser as Jorge Mercado, who has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine any time a person dies in custody.

"We've never had someone die from a tasing before," a police spokesman said. "We've only had Tasers eight or nine years. Now everyone is issued one when we start working here."

Hernandez tagged buildings under the signature "Reefa." Thiago Souza, a friend who had been acting as a lookout, said police looked "almost like they were proud of what they did" after subduing Hernandez.

"They're all congratulating each other and all that," Souza said. "They were all clapping over his body and like giving high fives and laughing."

Police did not respond to a request from CNN for comment on Souza's account.

"Electronic control devices" like the Taser are now common equipment among police, who say the devices give officers an option short of deadly force to subdue a suspect. Taser International Inc., citing a 2009 study by researchers at the Wake Forest University medical school, says fewer than 1% of those shocked with a Taser or similar device suffer any injury.

A 2006 report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that 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 human rights group Amnesty International says 42 people in the United States died after being shocked with Tasers in 2012, with more than 540 deaths since 2001.

Hernandez is not without critics. Many commenters on Miami news outlets defended the officers, saying Hernandez should have complied with police commands. But Hernandez's girlfriend, who asked to be identified only as "Alexandria," said he was "the farthest thing from a thug."

"He ran because he was scared," she said. "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."
 

fontaine

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I'm thinking they had that taser on super super outta this world high level and his frail body couldn't handle it...

question... not being insensitive... but would drugs have something TK do with it? like, if homey was high on some good bud or something...

just asking... I never really did any drugs so excuse my ignorance or insensitivity to the matter.. just wondering...

:nerd:
 
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I have an answer: don't put yourself in a position to possibly piss off the wrong cop on the wrong day. In other words, don't tag stuff and resist arrest.
 
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I'm thinking they had that taser on super super outta this world high level and his frail body couldn't handle it...

question... not being insensitive... but would drugs have something TK do with it? like, if homey was high on some good bud or something...

just asking... I never really did any drugs so excuse my ignorance or insensitivity to the matter.. just wondering...

:nerd:
doubt it
 
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Heard about this a few days ago :smh:

Why do you have to taser a kid that's tagging?

If you chase him and can't get him, take the L and move on and get him next time, there are more serious crimes to attend to. Miami Beach cops suck :smh:
 

premium3g

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TASERS HAVE NO RIGHT BEING PULLED UNLESS ITS AN OUT OF CONTROL ZOMBIE.... i hate the fact that people die almost every other day from being Tazed  but MSM doesnt utter a word on it... 

i rather a cop bust my head to the white meat rather than send 5000 volts through my body...
 
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Shouldn't have been tagging nor resisted arrest.

Still the officers actions were excessive and its been far to many cases like this where people have died at the hands of law enforcement when it could've been avoided.

In some cases, ex dude pulls a gun on a cop, the cop has to do what he has to do and that's understandable, but many of these cases its reckless action on law enforcements part.
 

bendover

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The story sounds so bias. Not to sound insensitive but dude was a tagger. He got caught tagging, dude try to run away so he got the taze. It's sad to see a young cat go but if you wanna be about that life, that's life.
 
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I'm thinking they had that taser on super super outta this world high level and his frail body couldn't handle it...

question... not being insensitive... but would drugs have something TK do with it? like, if homey was high on some good bud or something...

just asking... I never really did any drugs so excuse my ignorance or insensitivity to the matter.. just wondering...

:nerd:
definitely not bud.

i doubt any other drug would affect his reaction to that either.
 
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The article does have some biasedness to it but tazing him in that situation wasnt justified. Just call up backup, catch him, arrest him, throw the book At him for tagging and resisting arrest, deservedly so and call it a day.

Him dying is unwanted negative attention on their department in a situation that could've been handled differently.
 

PLVN

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I'm thinking they had that taser on super super outta this world high level and his frail body couldn't handle it...

question... not being insensitive... but would drugs have something TK do with it? like, if homey was high on some good bud or something...

just asking... I never really did any drugs so excuse my ignorance or insensitivity to the matter.. just wondering...

:nerd:
I think I remember a story about someone who was inhaling air duster that got tased and then burst into flames.
 
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I'm thinking they had that taser on super super outta this world high level and his frail body couldn't handle it...

question... not being insensitive... but would drugs have something TK do with it? like, if homey was high on some good bud or something...

just asking... I never really did any drugs so excuse my ignorance or insensitivity to the matter.. just wondering...

:nerd:
I think I remember a story about someone who was inhaling air duster that got tased and then burst into flames.
:wow: :nerd:
 
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I have an answer: don't put yourself in a position to possibly piss off the wrong cop on the wrong day. In other words, don't tag stuff and resist arrest.

This is what it comes down too.


I do think they need to teach officers that this can be deadly just like shooting so only use it when necessary.

Some cops tase for fun.
 
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Shouldn't have ran


If they would have shot him, people would have been saying they should have tased him
 
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So many situations could be avoided if people just collected their L's.
Yeah, he got caught doing something illegal. Should've just took responsibility for his actions and accepted whatever charge/fine they would've gave him. Instead he ran and resisted arrest. Dumb teenagers will act dumb.
 

Mark Antony

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So many situations could be avoided if people just collected their L's.
Yeah, he got caught doing something illegal. Should've just took responsibility for his actions and accepted whatever charge/fine they would've gave him. Instead he ran and resisted arrest. Dumb teenagers will act dumb.
Cmon, kid was tagging not selling drugs. Yall in here talking about "that life". Cmon b, not even a taser is acceptable for that. Lazy *** cops like to turn off their brain instead of thinking with the responsibility given to them.
 
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