Memorial continues for Miami Beach teen
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) -- The family of a South Florida man who died after being tased by police, said their goodbyes Tuesday.
The day brought family and friends together for a viewing for Israel Hernandez. Those members believe Hernandez is a victim of police brutality.
During the time of mourning, there is also anger over the death of Hernandez. Last Tuesday, the 18-year-old was caught spraying graffiti in a vacant building along Collins Avenue and 71st Street. Hernandez was tased after a foot race with police. He stopped breathing and was later pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.
"All of you have to remember that only united, we are strong," Offir Hernandez, Israel's sister said.
Over the weekend, Hernandez's sister attended a large police protest at the graffiti site. The family, joined by supporters, believe police used excessive force, more so after friends of Hernandez said they saw police shove and push Hernandez up against a wall.
While police are awaiting toxicology reports, a source told 7News that there were no signs of trauma on Hernandez's body, and an hour after death, the teen had a body temperature of 102 degrees.
Friends admit Hernandez did smoke marijuana, but they also saw police celebrating after taking down Hernandez. "I would not think that they would be doing that," countered Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez.
Martinez also said Hernandez was, without a doubt, breaking the law by defacing property. Though friends of the victim said it was just art.
Graffiti does cost taxpayers, and according to the City of Miami Beach, so far this fiscal year, it has spent $70,000 removing graffiti.
Miami Beach Police are investigating the incident, but once that is over, both the state attorneys office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will also review the investigation to see if there was any excessive force from the officers.
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