The family of an 18-year-old budding ‘street artist’ who was fatally tasered by a Miami Beach police officer August 6 has now filed legal action against the City of Miami Beach and its Police Department yesterday. Israel Hernandez-Llach, formerly known in Miami Beach art circles as “Reefa” was laid to rest in Miami Lakes August 10.
According to the Miami Herald:
“The suit, filed in the Miami-Dade circuit court, names the City of Miami Beach and Police Chief Ray Martinez. It alleges that the police violated Hernandez-Llach’s civil rights and asks for damages of more than $15,000”
The lawsuit also claims that Miami Beach officers used “excessive force” which ultimately resulted in the teen’s death. Police report says, however, that Hernandez-Llach resisted arrest which resulted in Officer Mercado’s actions.
The Colombian-born up-and-coming teenage street artiste was tasered by veteran Miami Beach Police Officer Jorge Mercado during a foot chase. Reports say that the teen had spray painted a 'shuttered' McDonald’s building in trendy South Beach.
Meantime, the Miami Beach taser death appears to have reignited the national debate on and about the use of taser guns (stunt guns) by police authorities. Officer Mercado is currently on administrative leave pending an investigation into the tasing incident.
Meantime, the Medical Examiner’s office is still awaiting a toxicology report which will establish the teen’s cause of death.