Family of Teenager Killed in Police Custody Sues Miami Beach Police Department

Israel Hernandez was only 18 years old when he was killed after a police officer used a Taser on him as Israel tried to run away; now his family is seeking justice.

Israel’s parents and his older sister came to us broken and devastated. Israel was the heart of his family; he was a creative, intelligent, and kind artist who had countless dreams and plans for his future. His art had earned him numerous awards and recognition by teachers and peers alike. He was an avid painter, photographer, and graffiti artist. Tragically, it was the latter that would cost him his life.

After Israel was caught spray-painting an abandoned McDonald’s, he ran from police for several minutes. When the officers finally caught up with him, Israel tried to run away again, and Officer Jorge Mercado shot him in the chest with a Taser. Israel fell to the ground and was unresponsive; he was declared dead upon arrival to the hospital.

We filed suit on behalf of the Hernandez family against the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Police Department. In a statement to the media, Kelley|Uustal attorney Todd McPharlin said “We believe that this investigation will illustrate that the city of Miami Beach, and the Miami Beach Police Department do not properly train or supervise their officers in their use of force, including their use of a Taser weapon, as we believe occurred in Israel’s case.”

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