Another round of shouldn't have run from the cops?

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Joined: 04/12/03
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Another round of shouldn't have run from the cops?

An 18-year-old man who was seen putting graffiti on private property in Miami Beach died after he ran from police and an officer used a Taser on him, police said. Thiago Souza talked about what happened to his friend Israel Hernandez. Sister Offir Hernandez and Hernandez family attorney Todd McPharlin discussed the incident.

An 18-year-old man who was seen putting graffiti on private property in Miami Beach died after he ran from police and an officer used a Taser on him, police said.

Miami Beach Police officers saw Israel Hernandez vandalizing private property with graffiti at 71st Street and Collins Avenue at 5:14 a.m. on Tuesday, Police Chief Raymond Martinez said in a statement Wednesday.

Thiago Souza said that he and another friend were keeping a lookout as their friend Hernandez used gold spray paint to graffiti an old storefront.

?I told him. I was like, 'Yo, stop,?? Souza said.

Police pulled up. That's when Hernandez tried using his skateboard to get away, but ran instead, Souza said.

During the ensuing chase Hernandez ran into and out of a building, and went over a fence before he crashed down hard on the hood of a car, an officer wrote in an offense incident report. Hernandez landed on his feet before losing his balance and falling on his chest, and then ran northbound on Harding Avenue, the report said.

Officers came face to face with Hernandez at 71st Street and Harding Avenue, where he ignored their commands to stop, Martinez said. An officer used a Taser on Hernandez and he was taken into custody, but he then showed signs of medical duress, Martinez said.

Miami Beach Fire Rescue took Hernandez to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Martinez said.

?The City of Miami Beach would like to extend their condolences to the family of Israel Hernandez,? the statement said.

Souza said police went too far.

"You don't have to use excessive force, it's not like he killed no one," he said.

At the Hernandez family's Miami Beach home Wednesday, his loved ones grieved, as the teen's drawings and paintings hung on the walls.

"He was a boy that could dream more than anybody could think," said his older sister, Offir Hernandez.

As a Miami Beach Senior High School student, she said her brother earned several honors, including Congressional recognition for his artistic achievements.

The family's attorney, Todd McPharlin, said his team is beginning an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Hernandez's death.

"I haven't seen something turn into a young man's death being caused by, or at least starting from something so benign," McPharlin said.

The cause of death has not been determined by the Medical Examiner?s Office, and autopsy and toxicology results are also pending, Martinez said.

Police continue to investigate.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Man-Seen-Doing-Graffiti-Died-After-He-Fled-and-Officer-Used-Taser-on-Him-Authorities-218764081.html]Man Seen Doing Graffiti Died After He Fled and Officer Used Taser on Him: Miami Beach Police | NBC 6 South Florida

I do not know the extent of the graffiti but if it was under $200, it was a misdemeanor. When the police arrived, he ran. At the time he was confronted, he was out of places to run.

Yes, he was in the wrong for running, but does the crime of graffiti warrant being tased which resulted in his death?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

The reason he was running from the police is irrelevant, IMO. Once he was running from the police that needed to be dealt with. I am curious why he died from the tazing. Is that common? If it came out that the police officer tazed him in excess, then that would need to be addressed as well.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1534

He shouldnt have ran. I am very sad for this boy, and his family. Tazing is not considered deadly force.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I agree with what has been said. Once he ran he needed to be chased, and I would much rather a Taser than a gun. It is very rare for someone to die from being tazed, and is usually due to a heart defect, or medications they are on. I am not seeing where it says he had nowhere else to go?

Anyways, here when you take the Taser course, someone always gets tasered as a demonstration. That is how safe it is, that the cops will tase there own just to show the effects.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Based on the story presented, I don't think excessive force was used. He ran away from the cops after committing a crime. Stupid move. I feel bad he died but as pp have said it's not typical to die after that.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I have a friend whose husband is RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police aka Mounties) and they have to be tasered and pepper sprayed before they are issued either.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"mom2robbie" wrote:

I have a friend whose husband is RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police aka Mounties) and they have to be tasered and pepper sprayed before they are issued either.

same is true for police here.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"Jessica80" wrote:

Based on the story presented, I don't think excessive force was used. He ran away from the cops after committing a crime. Stupid move. I feel bad he died but as pp have said it's not typical to die after that.

I agree. He ran, he was told to stop, he didn't, and a taser is non-lethal force in most cases. I feel terrible for him and his family, but I don't think the police are at fault.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Rivergallery" wrote:

same is true for police here.

Here as well.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I agree. He ran, he was told to stop, he didn't, and a taser is non-lethal force in most cases. I feel terrible for him and his family, but I don't think the police are at fault.

I agree. Very very sad, but I don't think that the police are at fault unless there is evidence that they somehow tazed him "too much" (I'm not sure if that is even possible? Do tazers have different settings?)

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

He wasn't being Tasered for the crime of graffiti; he was being Tasered because he ran from the cops, which could be a felony if he's run before. And anyone in this day & age who doesn't think they can be Tasered for running from the cops is an idiot. But we knew that about him because he was "putting graffiti," which is a grammatically-correct but rather sanitized-and-PC way of saying he was defacing, and possibly damaging or destroying, someone else's property. I'm sorry he died, but if he'd been enough of a man to say, "OK, you got me," then he'd have a misdemeanor ticket -- and his life.

ETA: he probably died because of the exertion of running, and perhaps falling on the car might have done something to his heart, too, and his heart couldn't handle the extra shock, literally, of the Taser. So what are we supposed to do, tell the cops they can't Taser anyone they've been chasing? That would be ridiculous.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Spacers" wrote:

He wasn't being Tasered for the crime of graffiti; he was being Tasered because he ran from the cops, which could be a felony if he's run before. And anyone in this day & age who doesn't think they can be Tasered for running from the cops is an idiot. But we knew that about him because he was "putting graffiti," which is a grammatically-correct but rather sanitized-and-PC way of saying he was defacing, and possibly damaging or destroying, someone else's property. I'm sorry he died, but if he'd been enough of a man to say, "OK, you got me," then he'd have a misdemeanor ticket -- and his life.

ETA: he probably died because of the exertion of running, and perhaps falling on the car might have done something to his heart, too, and his heart couldn't handle the extra shock, literally, of the Taser. So what are we supposed to do, tell the cops they can't Taser anyone they've been chasing? That would be ridiculous.

I was at a gathering once when the 'take away tasers' thing was big in the media here, and the comments from the cops were basically 'what would you prefer we do?" It is rare for someone to die from a taser. I would suspect about the same stats as someone being tackled (Hitting head, having heart attack etc) so that's out, not to mention there would be more serious injuries (broken bones etc) from physical contact, and it puts the cop in danger. And then of course there is shooting someone, which I would think is even more dangerous, and more people would die. And they cant just let anyone who runs go, cause then everyone would run and they would not be able to stop crimes from being committed, potentially causing more harm to innocent parties, if all one has to do is run when the cops come to get away with it. So really....what is the safer option?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"ftmom" wrote:

I was at a gathering once when the 'take away tasers' thing was big in the media here, and the comments from the cops were basically 'what would you prefer we do?" It is rare for someone to die from a taser. I would suspect about the same stats as someone being tackled (Hitting head, having heart attack etc) so that's out, not to mention there would be more serious injuries (broken bones etc) from physical contact, and it puts the cop in danger. And then of course there is shooting someone, which I would think is even more dangerous, and more people would die. And they cant just let anyone who runs go, cause then everyone would run and they would not be able to stop crimes from being committed, potentially causing more harm to innocent parties, if all one has to do is run when the cops come to get away with it. So really....what is the safer option?

I recall a big buzz about taser safety when that guy died at the airport (Vancouver?) after he flipped out at security or something and was tasered. Tasers, those beanbag pellets, etc.....all better than using lethal force if the situation warrants it. Now....a few weeks ago that poor boy on the Toronto streetcar - shot 3 times, THEN tasered, then shot 6 MORE TIMES. He didn't deserve to die. Major overkill. Like, why did the police not taser him first???? What is the point of tasering the kid after he's lying on the floor bleeding to death?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I recall a big buzz about taser safety when that guy died at the airport (Vancouver?) after he flipped out at security or something and was tasered. Tasers, those beanbag pellets, etc.....all better than using lethal force if the situation warrants it. Now....a few weeks ago that poor boy on the Toronto streetcar - shot 3 times, THEN tasered, then shot 6 MORE TIMES. He didn't deserve to die. Major overkill. Like, why did the police not taser him first???? What is the point of tasering the kid after he's lying on the floor bleeding to death?

Just an aside about that, and I am not saying they were right or wrong to shoot him. I dont know enough about it. However, DH watched the video and commented that when someone is shot they dont react like you think they will. It is not the same as in the movies, there is no immediate down and dead. He figured thats where the overkill came from.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

I guess what bothers me is that had he fled by car, they would have called off the pursuit.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Well that doesn't bother me. The risk of a police pursuit in hurting innocent people is great and not really warranted for someone who is fleeing from graffiti marking.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

They wouldn't have necessarily "called off the pursuit." They may have put out an APB and pulled the car over when it was spotted. Or they might have run the plates & had someone go to his house later. Just because they wouldn't chase him in a car, which puts the general public at risk, doesn't mean they wouldn't try to catch him another way.