A young life cut short at the hands of Miami Beach police. Our sincere condolences to Israel’s family and friends. May you rest in peace. The Miami Herald reports, “At just 18, Israel Hernandez-Llach was already an award-winning artist, on the threshold of acclaim in Miami Beach art circles. He was a sculptor, painter, writer and photographer whose craft was inspired by his home country of Columbia and his adopted city, Miami.
He was also a graffiti artist, known as “Reefa,” who sprayed colorful splashes of paint on the city’s abandoned buildings while playing cat-and-mouse with cops who consider these taggers vandals, not artists.
It was while spray-painting a shuttered fast-food restaurant early Tuesday morning that Hernandez-Llach was chased down by Miami Beach police and killed after being shot in the chest with a taser gun.
Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez said Hernandez-Llach was confronted by officers as he was vandalizing private property and he fled, leading officers on a foot chase. It ended at 71st and Harding when he was cornered by police and ran toward officers, ignoring commands to stop, Martinez said.
“The officers were forced to use the taser to avoid a physical incident,’’ the chief said. Read the rest of the article here. Not mentioned in the article is that there are reports that he was beaten and suffocated to death.
From the Huffington Post: