Teenager Israel Hernandez Dies After Miami Beach Cops Catch Him Tagging, Taser Him UPDATED

Categories: News

Israel_Hernandez_Instagram_MIA_Skateshop.JPG
via MIA Skate Shop's Instagram
Israel Hernandez was allegedly Tasered to death by Miami Beach Police officers yesterday.
An 18-year-old skater died yesterday after Miami Beach Police officers caught him tagging a building and then Tasered him.

Details about the death are still murky, but what is clear is that Israel Hernandez died before dawn Tuesday morning after cops caught him spray painting near 71st Street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Police have yet to comment on the killing, but an officer near the scene confirmed that cops had fatally Tasered someone. Hernandez's friends on the Miami Beach skate scene are devastated.

"I just cant believe it," says best friend Rafael Lynch, on the verge of tears. "I still have his hat and his board. They still smell like him. It's crazy."

Update: MBPD has released a statement and incident report confirming that Hernandez died after being Tasered. Police chased Hernandez after catching him tagging a building and used the electronic weapon when he refused to stop.

See also: Miami Beach cops are paid up to $225K and face lawsuits galore

Hernandez and Lynch often hung out together at MIA Skate Shop in Sunny Isles, where Lynch worked. Lynch says his friend, a Colombian immigrant who had only recently gotten his papers, was a brilliant and peaceful kid.

"This dude wasn't a regular dude," Lynch says. "He wasn't into partying... I've seen him drink a beer in the past but nothing to get fucked 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."

MIA Skate Shop posted a photo of Hernandez on its Instagram feed today. Reactions ranged from outrage to heartbreak.

See also: Joyriding ATV cop Derick Kuilan didn't have such a clean record

Israel_Hernandez_Instagram_full.JPG
via MIA Skate Shop's Instagram
Lynch says the Hernandez family is not yet ready to talk. He also says that he and Hernandez had recently launched a project to design unusually shaped skateboard decks.

"He had a short mission here in life, but it has affected the way I live for sure," Lynch says. "I can't do nothing to get him back. All I can do now is finish what we started, but it's just me now -- alone."

Riptide left several messages with Miami Beach Police spokespeople. We will update as soon as we hear from them.

Update: Here's the full statement from Chief Raymond Martinez:

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.

Update 2: Riptide has photos of the graffiti that got Hernandez killed. It's a single letter: "R." And it's painted on a dilapidated former McDonalds covered in graffiti and posters.

Update 3: Here is the full police report surrounding Israel Hernandez's death.

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My Voice Nation Help
639 comments
sadbuttrue
sadbuttrue

I hate to see this kid die so early. But trust one truth: "if you live by the gun, you die by the gun."

sadbuttrue
sadbuttrue

I guess I'll go take my medication before they come and get me.

sadbuttrue
sadbuttrue

All this means is that the Miami Beach Police is going to give South Beach a bad name.

They need to change the guidelines on hiring and get an outside company to control

drug use within the department. It seems rediculous to give a man a gun and a

badge and a 350 horsepower automobile, and allow him to drink coffee callache,

when he's used to a machete, coconut juice and one mule power.

sarahh.m12345
sarahh.m12345

What he did was wrong, but the police shouldn't have stood there congratulating each other, laughing when they could see that Israel was obviously hurt and not moving. This is why cops get a bad rep, instead of going after real bad times, such as rape, robberies or murders, they do this shit and kill an 18 year old.

AverageWhiteGuy
AverageWhiteGuy

wow, I came on here originally to check out another story,

AverageWhiteGuy
AverageWhiteGuy

wow, I came on here originally to check out another story,

miami305
miami305

So this is how the immigrant repays his host country? Tough shit immigrant. Shouldn't have broke the law, then fled.

jake.vonas
jake.vonas

you don't realize that everyone in the country commits criminal acts on a regular basis. There are so many illegal activities that no person in the country could possibly know them all. You may want to rethink your presumption that you obey the law. Let alone that your children obey every law and/ or municipal code...

catlovers2767
catlovers2767

who do we need to call to see these officers prosecuted on criminal charges ?

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

Why are all these people protesting? The kid was committing a crime, doing Graffiti. Then, why was he running if he had not committed a crime? Those are the consequences. And now they blame the cops. How about taking responsibility for racing a vandal. Where was his parents while he was on the streets vandalizing at 5:00 am? Now everyone talks about how good he was. The Cop did the right thing

sewelljamesj
sewelljamesj

you can watch the leaked video of him being tazed here--

israelhernandezmurder.blogspot.com 

viewer discretion is advised.

stunned
stunned

All I can say to all you police bashers out there.  This 18 yr old kid was out at 5am in the morning, vandalizing a building, running from police when he was TOLD to stop......he deserved to be tasered. They had every right, once HE MADE HIS DECISION TO RUN.  Period.  Very sad yes, I am so sad for his family. But if you can't see through your police bashing glasses, don't call 911 the next time you have an emergency. You don't deserve the protection.

jcc616
jcc616

Parents need to teach children to respect other peoples property and the law. The police did what we pay them to do, stop crime! If the perp did not resist arrest after committing a crime, he would be alive today.

jcc616
jcc616

"Tagging"?  You mean defacing.

beatlejuice
beatlejuice

They give officers too much power. Miami Beach police officers have always been known for their aggressive tactics. My condoleness to this young boy family. I hope something is done about this because young black males have been brutalize while being on the beach, arrested for no apparent reason and have been mistreated. Its sad that it takes the life of hispanic boy to end in the hands of police for people to finally realize how police officers are. I have so many stories of "driving while black" that it isn't even funny. If the kid runs, so fucking what? Let the kid go, no need to waste your damn time chasing after someone for something so trivial. 

leoleonardo313
leoleonardo313

Don't break the law and you won't have to worry about being tazered by the cops. Wasn't everyone taught when they were young to respect the law? I thought people still supported that kind of stuff

AnaCampos
AnaCampos

Yet another case of Miami Beach Police abusing their power, acting inappropriately and over-reacting. Yet another unecessary death at the hands of the MBPD. Shameful and sad.

stunned
stunned

I seriously cannot believe the ignorance of so many people.  Slam me if you wish, it just shows your ignorance.  This is very very sad, I agree.  My heart bleeds for his family.  However, if he had not been out at 5am and if he had not been vandalizing a building (if it was YOUR building you would be upset) if he had NOT run away and had listened to the police, then he would be alive. Put the blame WHERE it belongs!!  Tasers are used to stop those running away from police.  Geeezzzz this is nuts that the kid is not being held "responsible" at all in any of your eyes.  How many of you would run from police when they say stop?  If all you police haters hate them so much, please do them a favor and NEVER call them when you have an emergency. Depend on yourself.

katrbreen
katrbreen

@miami305 yeah, people who put art on buildings deserve to die. especially the ones who come from inferior countries. the cops were doing their job. his family and friends should understand this and get over it.

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@jake.vonas 

Speak for yourself only.

Not  "everyone in he country commits criminal acts on a regular basis."

iamgoodmusic
iamgoodmusic

He did the right thing ???? Are you serious . Tasimg a kid for a crime that minor. You are ignorant and nieve if you feel the cop was doing his job by taserimg. This world is full of cowards that hide behind badges or computer screens. Clearly we see which one you are . One grafitti letter gets you tasered to death , this country is a dam joke

MikeyTyson
MikeyTyson

@stunned No one deserves to be murdered for spray painting an old building. Hope next time you need a cop he doesn't kill you.

matt
matt

@stunned I don't think anyone deserves to be tasered for such a thing as vandalism and tagging, regardless of what the law says.  

MikeyTyson
MikeyTyson

@jcc616 So you agree someone should be murdered for "defacing" an old building that's falling down? Do you know the meaning of the word "compassion"? 

MikeyTyson
MikeyTyson

@beatlejuice Thank God you're out there. One of the few sane people who commented. Most of them were Nazis who were more concerned about private property and spray paint than a human life.

MikeyTyson
MikeyTyson

@leoleonardo313 You make is all sound so simple and easy. There are many ways to look at this murder and yours is predictable and inane.

beatlejuice
beatlejuice

@leoleonardo313 smh and when we were young, we were also taught that police are here to save us not kill us! 

nephitos
nephitos

@leoleonardo313 That isn't the point. This is a naked case of police brutality, for such a petty crime? And you're here telling me that I don't have to worry about being killed as long as I don't break the law? You must one miserable son of a bitch. Bless your poor soul.

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

And another case of a Valdal trying to brake the law and people trying to cover the moon with one hand

peggy70a
peggy70a

@stunned I do not think anyone commenting hates the police. And no one is saying what the young man did was the right thing. But it seems as if some have forgotten they were once young. Or maybe the harsh commenters "never" did "one" stupid thing in their youth!! Never snuck out of the house to attend a school dance. Never drove the car after parents went to bed. Never puffed on a cigarette. Just never did one damn stupid childish thing. This was a needless death and I pray attention is constanly brought to this matter. A life is something that cannot be given back and should not be taken at the drop of a hat. My condolence to the family of this young man.  The policemen  are the ones who are supposed to keep a level head.  I realize they are human also.  But like the rest of us they sould be held accountable when they are wrong. 

beatlejuice
beatlejuice

@stunned Dude, what the police officer should have done was let him run. The police officer obviously knew he was a kid and this is what kids do. Why the hell are you wasting time chasing someone over graffiti? It's a waste of time. A lot of things police officers do is a waste of time. I bet any amount of money that the police officer  intended for this to be a joke so he can tell his cop buddies that "oh i put a taser to a little motherfucker last week for spray painting some buildings and shit". They do this type of shit all the time. It happen to my friend and it could very well happen to your son. You were young before. I'm pretty sure you did dumb shit like this before. Its just a part of growing up. There isn't a perfect teenager out there. 

jake.vonas
jake.vonas

@Exiliado @jake.vonas you have no idea about law then.. There are literally tens of thousands of criminal activities that you have no idea about..

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

What you really mean is," a Cop tasers a Vandal" that ran like a coward for doing a crime, even if it was minor but a crime itself and you think the kid didn't deserved to be arrested, but again he ran from the cops and was tased.  If you think this country is a joke, do everyone a favor and move to Russia. Let's see how much happy you will be there, and while you are there maybe go to school and learn how to spell

cyberbmcd
cyberbmcd

@iamgoodmusic 
"
He did the right thing ???? "  YES

"Are you serious . " (?) you forgot the question mark, but YES

"Tasim(n)g a kid for a crime that minor. " you used an 'm' where you meant to use an 'n' and this is an incomplete statement  but in itself it is completely incorrect . Hernandez was not TASED for vandalism, he was TASED because he ran from the scene of a crime and he did not comply when told to stop. When you run from a crime you immediately become "dangerous" because the cops cannot assume you have nothing to hide, since you are running you are resisting arrest, the act of resisting arrest makes you an unknown quantity and now the onus is on you to show you are not a threat.

"You are ignorant and nieve if you feel the cop was doing his job by taserim(n)g" I assume you meant naive, and you misspelled tasering again. No, neither ignorant nor naive. In fact this could actually be used to describe your comments since it is ignorant to immediately condemn the police when Hernandez was the one committing a crime. as well, you are naive to believe that "good kids" roam around vacant buildings at 5 am and run from police.

"This world is full of cowards that hide behind badges or computer screens.Clearly we see which one you are ." you seem to be the latter, yourself.

"One grafitti letter gets you tasered to death , this country is a dam joke" One letter? you know this how? Were you there? and again, you are incorrectly describing the situation, he was not TASER'ed for the act of vandalism. He was TASER'ed for the act of resisting arrest, fleeing the scene of a crime, and failing to comply with the police demanding he stop running.

The country is a damn joke when people such as yourselves attack the police for doing their job. If they had shot the man, we'd be reading about excessive force, or if they attacked him physically etc... what would you have liked for them to do? Allow the man to run away when he committed 3 different crimes in a span of a few short minutes?


mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

Great. Why don't you give me your address and I can come over with a few cans of spray paint and do some of my beautiful art in front of your house. Let's see how much you like it. He didn't deserved to be murdered but got himself into that situation and now everyone wants to blame the Cop. Hope next time you need help, don't bother to call 911.

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@matt @stunned 

The problem is that society does not have to, and will not live by what YOU consider to be right or wrong.

We all have different opinions, so we need to compromise. That compromise has a name: THE LAW.

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

And you don't know the meaning of CRIME & LAW

beatlejuice
beatlejuice

@MikeyTyson @beatlejuice People can't see pass that unfortunately. Yes the kid was wrong but the officer also endangered himself by running after him. This tragedy could have easily been avoided if you just let the kid run. Lets say the officer could have got hit by a taxi for running after the kid or the kid was very volatile and pull a knife or beat this officer to death during the confrontation. It's not worth it.  He did his job by catching the kid in the act. The cop next move, after the kid had ran, should have been to file a report and draw up a wanted poster if you wanted him so bad. 

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

And I hope your parents taught you to respect others property and the law. Otherwise you might be next

peggy70a
peggy70a

@nephitos @leoleonardo313 Heck people break laws every second because damn near every action is a crime. He ran and!!  He painted one darn letter while down the street someone was getting their head bashed in a robbery.  My point is why chase someone for tagging an old rundown building and then taser them.. Two or more cops could not contain one skinny kid.  Since we know policemen never do anything alone. I cannot believe some of the commenters are taking this so lightly.  I wonder how they would feel if it was their kid!!!  Heartless bunch of people.

stunned
stunned

@nephitos @leoleonardo313 How in the world are the police supposed to know what the heck he really was up to?  An 18 year old, vandalizing a building, then running away from the police?? What exactly do you EXPECT the police to do?? When someone runs away from them, they do what they need to stop them. Sad as it is, it's this kids' fault all the way.

jcc616
jcc616

It is exactly the point. If he was not breaking the law defacing property he would not have been arrested. And when arrested he resisted. 2 bad mistakes that cost him his life.

stunned
stunned

@beatlejuice Oh you must be a police officer and know what they were thinking.  No, I am sorry, they needed to stop this punk.  Period.  His fault he ran away, his fault he's dead. Period.

jake.vonas
jake.vonas

@k.kaprow @jake.vonas  exactly, ignorance of the law is no excuse... and it is obvious that graffiti on someone else's property is against the law... But so are a ton of things that no one has any idea about, including yourself or your son if you have one. Unfortunately for you and your son, the police do not decide if they are using tasers based upon an analysis of whether the offender is committing an offense that should be well known or not.. 


k.kaprow
k.kaprow

@jake.vonas

Ah, the old "everybody commits a crime" excuse. Who could possibly have known that spray-painting somebody's building is a crime? Besides, EVERYBODY does it! They say ignorance of the law is no excuse, but I say fuck you, fellow criminal! Gimme your wallet!

peggy70a
peggy70a

@beatlejuice  I feel the same way. How cruel and harsh to refer to him as "the little punk"  for spray painting an old rundown building.  I think even if it was my home I would not want someone to lose their life over  spray painting.  Gee where has compassion gone??

beatlejuice
beatlejuice

@stunned @beatlejuice They did stop him. Why do you think he ran? The police officer should have let him go and file a report. The police officer endangered his own life for chasing him. Let say the kid was volatile and pulled out a knife after he caught up to him. Then we would be reading about a young boy murdering a cop. So let me get this straight, he's busy worrying about catching a graffiti artist and there's prostitutes and drug dealers out and about. C'mon dude, wake up. It's not that serious to chase this "little punk". 

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