Teen Shot With Taser by Miami Beach Police Died of Sudden Cardiac Death: Medical Examiner

A medical examiner determined that a young graffiti artist shot by a Miami Beach Police officer's Taser died of heart failure from energy device discharge, authorities said Thursday

By Bobby Brooks
|  Friday, Mar 7, 2014  |  Updated 7:13 AM EDT
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A medical examiner determined that a young graffiti artist shot by a Miami Beach Police officer's Taser died of heart failure from energy device discharge, authorities said Thursday. Israel

A medical examiner determined that a young graffiti artist shot by a Miami Beach Police officer's Taser died of heart failure from energy device discharge, authorities said Thursday. Israel "Reefa" Hernandez died last August after the inciden. His sister comments.

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A medical examiner determined that a young graffiti artist shot by a Miami Beach Police officer's Taser died of heart failure from energy device discharge, authorities said Thursday.

Israel "Reefa" Hernandez died last August after the incident that began when he was spotted by police spray painting a storefront at 71st Street and Collins Avenue early in the morning.

Police say when officers moved in, Hernandez ran. As a result, Officer Jorge Mercado Tased him. Hernandez, 19, died an hour later at the hospital.

Since this happened, Miami Beach Police has insisted Mercado was acting accordingly with department policy. However, the victim’s family has filed an intent to sue the department for excessive force.

On Facebook, Hernandez’s sister posted a video Thursday to made it clear that her family has not received justice.

"A healthy young boy, who exercised, who ate healthy, how can they come and tell me he died of a heart attack?" Offir Hernandez said. "We want Justice, how can we live in this society where they kill the young boys and young girls from a mistake they did when they were young. We gotta stop this.”

Hernandez's probable manner of death is listed as an accident, but it’s rare for a medical examiner to cite a Taser for the cause of death. The medical examiner also noted that marijuana was found in Hernandez's system.

What’s next is with this new evidence, prosecutors handling the case will conclude whether police broke any laws.

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