Vigil Honors Miami Beach Teen Israel Hernandez Who Died After Being Stunned by Police Taser

A vigil for Israel Hernandez turned tense as demonstrators gathered in Miami Beach.

By Justin Finch
|  Friday, Aug 9, 2013  |  Updated 12:07 AM EDT
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Friends and family members of Israel Hernandez remembered the teen at a Miami Beach Vigil, and some chanted in protest of police officers following his death. NBC 6's Justin Finch has the story.

Friends and family members of Israel Hernandez remembered the teen at a Miami Beach Vigil, and some chanted in protest of police officers following his death. NBC 6's Justin Finch has the story.

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Family Speaks Out After Teen's Death After Officer Used Taser

Although officials have pledged to investigate the death of Israel Hernandez, who died in police custody after being Tased following a pursuit, the teen's family is calling for other agencies to investigate the case. NBC 6's Justin Finch has the story.

Man Seen Doing Graffiti Died After Officer Used Taser

An 18-year-old man who was seen putting graffiti on private property in Miami Beach died after he ran from police and an officer used a Taser on him, police said. Thiago Souza talked about what happened to his friend Israel Hernandez. Sister Offir Hernandez and Hernandez family attorney Todd McPharlin discussed the incident.
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A vigil in honor of a Miami Beach teen who died in police custody took an aggressive turn Thursday evening on Collins Avenue and 71st Street.

Crowds in support of Israel Hernandez gathered at the spot where he was spotted by officers spray painting graffiti on an abandoned storefront early Tuesday morning. Witnesses said tensions between demonstrators and police escalated, and officers moved in to surrounded the crowds.

The demonstration came just hours after Hernandez's father, sister and attorney called for outside agencies to look into the teen's death at a press conference at their Bay Harbor Islands home.

"We don't know exactly what happened in this case, and we want to make sure we know with absolute certainty what did happen, and for that reason, we would like it to be an outside law enforcement agency," said Jose Javier Rodriguez, the family's attorney.

Miami Beach Police announced it will investigate the events surrounding Hernandez's death, but the family is insisting that the investigation involve outside oversight.

South Miami Man Arrested in Wife's Death: Cops

At issue: the circumstances surrounding the teen's death. In a statement, Police Chief Raymond Martinez said a Taser device was used to subdue the 18-year-old after he ran away from officers who caught him vandalizing the Collins Avenue storefront.

While in custody, police said Hernandez went into medical duress. He was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Hernandez's father told the press his family moved to the U.S. for a better life, and that his son, a Miami Beach Senior High student, was an accomplished artist. He said his hope now is that any wrongdoing surrounding his son's death is punished.

Though police have expressed their condolences, Hernandez's sister says her brother should never have lost his life.

"We'll appreciate it very much if you can support [us], because art is nothing to be killed for," Offir Hernandez said.

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