Reefa

Group Rallies A Year After Israel "Reefa" Hernandez's Death

Aug 7, 2014
Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald staff

Jacqueline Hernandez-Llach hides her face behind a sign which reads “One year later... still no justice for Reefa.”

Her green eyes can’t keep the tears from rolling down her face as she begins to speak Wednesday night at the vigil for her son, 18-year-old Israel Hernandez-Llach.

“I can’t believe that it’s possible for 12 months to have gone by without any new information,” she said. “Every day that goes by I feel more pain, I think that State Attorney Katharine Fernandez Rundle wants to let the situation fade away.”

Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Friends of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez held a news conference in response to his autopsy report released last week, seven months after his death. The teen died in August after being shot with a stun gun by Miami Beach police when he was caught defacing an abandoned building. The autopsy report says Hernandez's death was "accidental through electrical discharge." Now, the State Attorney's office must finish investigating before they can decide whether or not to press charges in the death. 

Marsha Halper / Miami Herald Staff

The death of 18 year-old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach has brought renewed attention to the Miami Beach police department.  Police tasered Hernandez on Aug. 6 after he spray-painted the wall of a shuttered McDonald's restaurant on Collins Avenue and 71st Street.   

People have died from being tasered, though according to a 2011 Justice Department report, it is rare.

The problem, says Julie Brown of the Miami Herald, is that the “Miami Beach police have had a history of using excessive force.”