Miami Beach Police officers caught an 18-year-old skater tagging a building and decided to taser him.
Israel Hernandez, a Colombian immigrant who only recently got his papers, died yesterday. Hernandez worked with Rafael Lynch at MIA Skate Shop. Lynch says his friend was a brilliant and peaceful kid.
"I just can’t believe it," Lynch said. "I still have his hat and his board. They still smell like him. It's crazy. This dude wasn't a regular dude. He wasn't into partying. I've seen him drink a beer in the past but nothing to get f-ed up. I loved this person. He was very different. He had a passion for skating and art and many other things. He taught me a lot."
MBP Chief Raymond Martinez released the following statement, the Miami New Times reported:
“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.”