The August 6 taser death of an 18-year-old Miami Beach street artist is not only bringing unwanted attention to the Miami Beach Police Department, but also reigniting the taser debate countrywide.
Meantime, the family of Israel Hernandez-Llach, also known as ‘Reefa’ to close friends in the Miami arts community, is still waiting for the official cause of death results from the Medical Examiner’s office.
Hernandez, who relocated to the Miami Metropolitan area from South America (Colombia) as a young teen, was tasered earlier in the month by a Miami Beach Police officer after the youth was caught (reportedly) spray painting a shuttered McDonalds building on trendy Collins Avenue.
Amnesty International, a global movement fighting injustice and human rights, is one such group that is a serious adversary of the use of taser guns.
According to an Amnesty International 2012 Press Release,
“At least 500 people in the United States have died since 2001 after being shocked with Tasers either during their arrest or while in jail.”
The release also confirmed that a record 65 persons have died in the State of Florida alone surpassed only by 92 deaths in California. Texas, which is a distant third on the list of taser related incidents nationally, recorded 37 deaths according to the Amnesty International data.
As an investigation continues into the death of Hernandez, reports out of Miami Beach Police Department say that in light of this recent incident, Ray Martinez, the new police chief and his deputy are currently reviewing the department’s policy on the use of taser or stun guns.
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