Israel Hernandez Killing: Officer Who Tasered Teen Put on Leave, Family Ask Feds for Probe

Categories: Crime

Israel_Hernandez_Instagram_MIA_Skateshop.JPG
via Instagram
On Tuesday, Miami Beach Police Officer Jorge Mercado fired a Taser into Israel Hernandez's chest following a chase that started with the teen getting caught tagging an abandoned McDonald's. Hernandez died soon after Mercado used the electronic weapon, and MPBD has now put the 13-year veteran on leave while investigating what happened.

Hernandez's family, meanwhile, called the teen's killing an "act of barbarism" and called for a federal probe.

See also: Teenager Israel Hernandez Dies After Miami Beach Cops Catch Him Tagging, Taser Him

Mercado's record is also drawing scrutiny after the teen's death. Hired in 2000, the officer had six complaints on file, including battery, excessive force and courtesy and respect violations, the Miami Herald reports. He was suspended 160 hours two years ago for violating the department's drug testing policies, though there are no details just yet how the broke the rules.

Hernandez's friends who were nearby when he was killed have offered disturbing details of the aftermath of his Tasering.

Thiago Souza lost sight of his friend when he ran from the police, but found him ten minutes later laying facedown after getting Tasered. He tells the Herald police were celebrating.

"He said 'you should have seen how funny it was when his butt clenched when he got Tased'" Souza says of the officer on the scene. "They were all clapping and doing high-fives all over his body. It was almost like they were proud of what they did.''

The teen's father, Israel Hernandez-Bandera, held a press conference yesterday to call for a federal probe into his son's death, describing it to Reuters as the "assassination of a young artist and photographer."

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89 comments
middleground
middleground

You know why this country sucks now? Nothing can ever just be unfortunate all around. Everybody has to take sides. It's what has lead to a police state, domestic spying, etc. There is no more common ground in this country. This entire situation is just shitty; from him tagging buildings to him dying for it.

strangewaysmiami
strangewaysmiami

everyone here is quick to point fingers at everyone else, you all sit here and judge wether you are behind the teenager or not. you all think your opinion actually matters when it really doesnt. you who think life is meaningless and are quick to scream kill the infidels are almost as guilty as those who see property as meaningless and are ready to destroy it. no one here has actually discussed the meaning of a life. everyone just wants to punish someone for something they dont agree with as if you are all angels. it makes me sick and sad to be a part of humanity, but this is the life i chose and i will be here till its y time to go. each and every one of you including myself should reflect on your voice and really understand why there is so much hate. why are you so angry, that sits inside you and is not anyone elses fault.

hello929
hello929

I have no issue with the cops chasing him and since they believed they needed to use the taser that's fine. What I do have a problem with is that the cops LAUGHED and HIGH FIVED each other after. And even worse, everyone condemning this kid for committing a 'crime' and applauding the cops on doing a good job- wake up. The main officer has committed crimes himself (failed drug tests, battery). So, quit being so inhuman and a robot thinking that officers are saints and always do the right thing.

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter


 We have no more stupid people in this country. Everybody has a "learning disorder". Or he's "minimally exceptional".

so if I get this, the cops have a right to enforce the law,  a person goes out and gets caught intentionally breaking it, and the cops in the process of stopping the criminal use a taser, the criminal dies. Ok so what is the problem??Furthermore, the "friends" who were watching this crime should also be charged, they are also criminals 


Hernandez's friends said earlier in the day they had been smoking marijuana

Another friend believes Hernandez ran because he was worried about his immigration status


 His friends Felix Fernandez and Thiago Souza said they had been serving as lookouts when he was seen by police on Tuesday morning.


“I seen a cop pass by and before I could even go to warn him he was already on a foot chase,” said Hernandez’s friend Thiago Souza.Officers began chasing Hernandez and despite several warnings to stop, police say he continued to run. According to police, Hernandez and the officers met face-to-face at 71st and Harding Avenue, where an officer fired his Taser to subdue him.

 

It’s a crime, not art!  Graffiti, it’s everywhere.On freeway bridges, bus stops maybe your own property. But getting rid of it is a never-ending, expensive process.


 Fleeing the police, after they have identified themselves as police, is ALWAYS a chargeable offense. Once you flee from an officer, you can be charged with fleeing the police, even if you have done nothing wrong.

The moral is: If a police officer asks you for I.D. or wants to handcuff you and you are innocent, do not run. Just comply. You can always file a complaint later, if the cop has acted inappropriately The criminal charge of fleeing a police officer is often added on to other criminal charges.

Mercy Mercy-Me
Mercy Mercy-Me

the police tasered him once in the chest. Anyone with half a brain knows you don't taser someone in the f*cking chest. The makers of the product themselves warn that it can cause heart failure and death. Regardless of whatever this kid was doing, or the fact that he ran, the police were irresponsible and completely liable. And the fact that they stood around making jokes and acting like a bunch of bullies is disgusting.

alexander.blastos
alexander.blastos

Someone else murdered by the police in Miami-Dade.  Nothing will be done.  Nothing ever is.  The cop failed a drug test but was kept on?  Really?  Maybe it was because it is a Latino on Latino murder.  No racism there.  Just plain old murder.  Eric Holder won't lift a finger over this.  His disdain for Latinos is almost as bad as it is Whites.

internetinternet
internetinternet

Code enforcement still hasn't cited the building for graffiti. 

Last time I checked police couldn't care less about private property damage in Miami Beach.  Police have always been  discouraged from  writing reports because it scares tourists away when the crime stats come out. 


The police are a  bloated pension liability and lobbyist group that will cost the city  millions  in settlements in the next few years. .  The unions fights to keep its workers free from wearing recordable cameras, installing dash cameras and GPS locators for a reason.  Citizens are screwed. 

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

liberals are up in arms about this. That just proves to me that the cops did the right thing, and the outcome was just. I prefer a tagger in a body bag over cleaning up graffiti.

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

america is fed up with vandalism. Cry me a river that a criminal is dead. Dont try rationalizing the crime by stating the building was abandoned. that was not the point. Burn in hell street punk. Spray paint the flames of hell.

René Quijada
René Quijada

It is unfortunate that the guy died for doing something stupid but I find it more stupid that some people are making it seem like the Trayvon Martin case where a boy got shot for minding his own business. This man chose to vandalize private property without getting permission from the owner even if the building were to be demolished. A professional artist knows that is just being disrespectful and irresponsible. Instead of standing up for what he was doing, he chose to run. More than likely it was an accident, I don't believe the cops intentions were to kill this man because they choose their taser instead of their gun.

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

this is a liberally biased article. Vandalism is not considered art. Is a pile of dog poop considered Feces Art?

Natasha Rico
Natasha Rico

Practically everyone I knew in the early 90's used to "tag" in Miami and now these same people in their late 30's are responsible law-abiding educated professionals with families. Tagging is just part of the culture in Miami and part of doing stupid crap when your a kid. I would hope that my friends and acquaintances weren't "tased" to death over it because then they would not be here today growing old and enjoying the rest of their lives. Is tagging illegal - sure! But so is speeding and the other minor infractions that sometimes the regular joe partakes in occasionally. What's up with all the anti-graffiti rhetoric anyway? Isn't this Miami where we glorify mainstream street art and where one loves to indulge in their once a month trip to Wynwood, haha!

Allofyour Moms
Allofyour Moms

He wrote a three-inch "R" on the wall of an abandoned and already graffitied building. A building that was going to be demolished/repainted in the future. That merited a police chase on foot and by car? That merited police tasing him when he was already cornered? That merited more than one officer to handle? Now he is dead. And while he was dying, face down on the concrete, these officers congratulated themselves for saving the streets from a three-inch "R". For a city who is more than happy to whore out the graffiti talent when it is convenient during Art Basel, Miami Beach sure does know how to handle "crime". This is a blatant misuse of power and definitely police brutality. ESPECIALLY when the officer in question has many cases of overuse of power and abuse under his belt. Everyone on this thread saying that this kid got what he deserved, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. I am confident that the art community will not take this lying down. I am confident that they will pursue this to the furthest extent of the law. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. What happened to Israel Hernandez was wrong. JUSTICE FOR ISRAEL.

Chard Beauregarde
Chard Beauregarde

Kid didn't deserve to get tased for inconveniencing a fat cop by running. Anyone who disagrees is deluding themselves or are sociopaths.

AnaCampos
AnaCampos

4 murders. 

40 rapes

370 robberies

473 aggravated assault

1,171 burglary

7,838 larceny

These are the crime statistics in Miami Beach. Crime increased by 13 percent in 2010 and that means more robberies and aggravated assaults (FDLE annual crime report). So while rapes and burglary and robberies are rising, their police officers choose to invest their energy into misdemeanor and bullshit nonsense like tasing an 18 year old child for writing the word R on a wall. It speaks volumes as to how dysfunctional the MBPD leadership must be and how distorted their misguided their officer training is. 

The Miami Beach Police Department, once again, acted inappropriately, used excessive force and overreacted resulting in yet another senseless death.  There's no doubt they will be sued but I'm sure that is no consolation for this poor family. Shame on the Miami Beach Police Department. Child killers.

Dredz Lives
Dredz Lives

Who cares what the kid was doing we've already been showed time and time again Miami Beach cops are the most corruptcops in Florida with the highest disregard for public safety. 1. The atv cop 2. The murder of the guy who didn't have a gun on him during urban music week. 3 justice department probe. How many more people do they need to kill before someone steps in??

BoBo ZoBo
BoBo ZoBo

I hate the abuse by police as much as the next citizen and tazers need to be investigated for overuse... but are we forgetting the kid was actually doing something illegal, disobeyed police and then ran from them.

TazerSplainner
TazerSplainner

The use of a tazer is simply based on some level of resistance by a suspect... It is considered a non-lethal option and even less than using a baton or striking a suspect with a fist. (these are legal definitions, not my opinion). It boils down to; The kid was committing a crime? (yes) Did the kid run? (yes) did kid ignore verbal commands? (yup)  Use of Tazer is authorized (sorry, game over)  Now if it the tazer was used repeatedly or excessively...that would justify a federal inquiry.

This case will prove one of two things...kid had cocaine on-board or he had a serious heart defect AND cocaine on board.

Nothing to see here...Move along.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

Understandable that the family is looking for answers, but this wouldn't have happened if the kid was at home at 5 AM instead of God knows where.

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@hello929  

Whats with the apostrophe usage with the word crime?  Graffiti is a crime.

Bobo
Bobo

@drakemallard This boy did not need to die regardless of all the crap that comes out of your mouth

Exiliado
Exiliado

@Mercy Mercy-Me 

Anyone with half a brain knows that you are not supposed to run from the police.

tsio123
tsio123

And that is the sickest most demented evil comment I have ever read..ever.

dopadilla
dopadilla

mikeknowles, REALLY, you would rather see a young person in a body bag than to clean up graffiti!!! You really are an idiot!!!

tsio123
tsio123

What America is really fed up with is hate mongers like you .. Extreme right wingers who are repulsed by educated artistic intelligent Americans..you are angry because you are powerless.. Your repulsive species is becoming extinct, voted out over and over and laughed at by the majority. Go dig a hole and hide in it, this country doesn't need such vileness.

dopadilla
dopadilla

mikeknowles, this just really shows your ignorance. The only one that will be burning in Hell is you!!! How dare you call this young man a criminal or a street punk. Do you know him personally???

dopadilla
dopadilla

Mikeknowles, are you just an idiot or are you really that heartless that you would think it is okay to kill a teenager for writing on the wall of an abandoned building? How dare you call him a criminal and a street punk. If anyone will burn in hell it will be YOU!!!

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

@René Quijada yeah a gun is safer

Exiliado
Exiliado

@René Quijada 

I agree with most of what you say, except the trayvon martin bit. That was shot because he was beating the Shiite out someone.

meganp27
meganp27

@René Quijada Then why were they not showing remorse for a loss of life?  They were celebrating and making jokes.  This boy was KILLED.  DEAD.  Have you people no respect for life anymore?  One of the ten commandments is THOU SHALT NOT KILL.  Whether or not they meant to kill this guy or not, to laugh and celebrate over his dead body is repulsive.

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

@Allofyour Moms cry me a river. the vandal punk is in a body bag where he belongs. Lesson is dont deface a defenseless building, unless you are prepared to die for it.

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

@Chard Beauregarde that innocent building did not deserve to be defaced by somebody who was an immigrant in this country. Immigrants who deface property in their host country deserve death. They are a disgrace.

Bobo
Bobo

@TazerSplainner Except none of the facts you list are proven. Speculating about cocaine when there is no proof tells me your just another ahole

Bobo
Bobo

@Juan R. Pollo so kill every kid out at 5AM

mikeknowles
mikeknowles

@Juan R. Pollo I want an apology from this family for producing a vandal. Something tells me that an apology will not be forthcoming.

hello929
hello929

@miamitrev2 @hello929 Doing drugs is a crime. Yet the police officer wasn't fired? But let's taser a kid to death for graffiti, that's okay. Logical.

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

@Bobo@drakemallard

  teenagers painting on walls is grounds for shots fired and or electrocution..this my friends is why we rate last in education. Just plain dumb.

 This is not art it is Criminal Damage to property and this little criminal decided to fight the law and as the song goes the law won. People are cheering for this persons deviant behavior. Our society is circling the drain of it's own destruction. It's called vandalism. Then fleeing and alluding. If you want to express yourself do it on a canvas or your mothers house. So let me get this straight, if the graffiti kid complied, didn't run away, and listed to the police officers request to stop, he would be alive today. Sounds to me if you comply, do as the police say, take the arrest and possibly fight your charges in court, you will more than likely come out of this situation without being tased.

dopadilla
dopadilla

mikeknowles, your continue to show your ignorance, you should stop already. I believe in Karma and you will get what is coming to you!!!

steph.
steph.

@mikeknowles dude, don't you realize no one is paying attention to you? go troll somewhere else.


Bobo
Bobo

@mikeknowles  mike there is no way of answering you except to say your an idiot

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@hello929

Failing a drug test isnt against the law unless you are on probation or some other similar situation.  Graffiti and evading arrest are always against the law

dopadilla
dopadilla

steph, good point, don't know why I have let the ramblings of an idiot bother me. :-)

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