Taser Death of Graffiti Artist Israel Hernandez-Llach Revives Debate

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by gator996, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    A Florida story that has gone global...and as far as I know hasn't gotten any attention here....

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/13/taser-death-of-graffiti-artist-israel-hernandez-llach-revives-debate.html

    Taser Death of Graffiti Artist Israel Hernandez-Llach Revives Debate
    by Winston Ross Aug 13, 2013 4:45 AM EDT


    Israel Hernandez-Llach was armed with a can of spray paint. He was 18 years old, 5-foot-6, 150 pounds. He was spraying the letter “R” at 5 a.m. on a shuttered McDonald’s in Miami Beach, Fla., and when the cops pulled up, he bolted. Now he’s dead.


    The burgeoning artist was known throughout the community and in some circles across the country. A police report obtained by the Miami Herald indicates that the teenager led officers on a zigzag chase to avoid capture, skirting through buildings and up and down alleys. When finally cornered a block away, Hernandez-Llach bolted straight at the officers, at which point Officer Jorge Mercado deployed a Taser. It struck Hernandez-Llach in the chest. An hour later, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.


    To some activists and residents in Miami and beyond, the artist’s death is a tragic reminder of excessive force at the hands of local police, bringing back memories of a 2011 incident when a man pulled over for driving erratically wound up dead after six officers fired 100 bullets into his car, injuring multiple bystanders. But others note that more than 500 people have been killed in the U.S. by police Tasers since 2001. They say the Taser has become the tool of the lazy cop who wants a suspect down in an instant, a tool that police have been told so often is “non-lethal” that they have come to use it without much regard for why they’re firing it or where they’re aiming.


    The problem, said Suzanne Trimel, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, is that police have come to rely on Tasers as a “weapon of first resort.” “They were introduced as a non-lethal equivalent of firearms, but more and more they’re used when firearms wouldn’t even be justified,” she said.


    Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser Inc., dismissed that criticism in an interview with The Daily Beast. The vast majority of Taser deployments don’t result in any injury, he said, adding that the same can’t be said of other tools at an officer’s disposal—the nightstick, the clenched first, pepper spray, or revolver.


    “This means we’ve gotten away from beating somebody into submission,” Tuttle said. But the device isn’t a “magic bullet,” he added. “Is it the right tool for every situation? It sure isn’t.”
  2. CHFG8R
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    Artist or Criminal?

    I go with the latter. All of this completely avoidable if the "victim" stays within the restraints of the law. Instead he chooses to break it multiple times. Oh well, I guess that's the cost of doing business as a graffiti "artist".
  3. HallGator
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    Cops don't know if you are armed. You run. When cornered you run at them. Most anyone knows you can't do this type of stuff.
  4. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    He was an 18 year old who was spray painting a building...that requires deadly force?

    This article isn't about whether or not he should have been arrested...which he wasn't....

    He was shot dead.


    The article is about "supposed" non-lethal weapons which actually have turned out to be pretty lethal.


    If they killed the UF student who screamed "Don't Taze Me Bro" would that have been justified in your eyes also?

    He broke the law...

    He resisted arrest...


    Too bad???



    The general idea that he broke the law so what ever force is used is ok is circumspect at best....
  5. HallGator
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    I don't follow you. He wasn't "shot dead" he was tased. Any fool knows you don't run at the police when they are trying to arrest you. His color doesn't have a thing to do with it and the guys who was tased here at Gainesville didn't run at the police so it is not the same.

    Now if you want to argue that tasers are more lethal than they let on I could see that but in this case it was a tragedy but one that could have been avoided had the kid not rushed the cops. I am an old white guy that wouldn't give that one a try.
  6. CHFG8R
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    Would you prefer they used 9mm hollowpoints? It's a tazer. One could argue that they used proper restraint in this case. The issue may be the tolerance of the victim/criminal to the tazer.

    And wasn't the guy in Gainesville tazed? He didn't die, did he?
  7. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    First of all, who brought up color?


    Second, does the offense matter at all in your mind?


    What if the police approach you for something minor...ya know like spray painting a building when you're a minor....


    You think the police should be using deadly force?
  8. CHFG8R
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    On a side note. Love the way they portray him as an "artist."

    Whatever dude. You may have talent, but you aren't an "artist" until you do something legitimate with it. And f-ing up other people's property is not legitimate.

    Oh wait, was that racist?
  9. CHFG8R
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    If I lead them on a prolonged chase then, when cornered, run at them? Yes. Absolutely. I deserve to get tazed.

    Maybe they should have tackled him instead. But what if his head hits the pavement and he dies of complications? No difference.
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    If the police approach me for something minor first of all I am not going to run. Second if I did and they run me down, which they would, I sure as heck am not going to run at them. If I do make the stupid mistake of running at them then it would not come as a great surprise if they tased me. Whether or not a taser is deadly force is a debatable issue so your last question is not one I'll address.
  11. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    What is going on with all of the race talk on this thread?
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    There is a difference in race talk and talking about race.
  13. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    This is what the article is about.....


    "They say the Taser has become the tool of the lazy cop who wants a suspect down in an instant, a tool that police have been told so often is “non-lethal” that they have come to use it without much regard for why they’re firing it or where they’re aiming.


    The problem, said Suzanne Trimel, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, is that police have come to rely on Tasers as a “weapon of first resort.” “They were introduced as a non-lethal equivalent of firearms, but more and more they’re used when firearms wouldn’t even be justified,” she said."


    You guys seem fixated on proving the kid was doing something wrong
    (no one is arguing that point)...

    and his race.... :huh:
  14. CHFG8R
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    Oh, I thought I might get chastised for my inability to understand "Street Graffiti Culture".
  15. GatorFanCF
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    Very insightful comment on how the person was portrayed.
    He was a vandal.
    He resisted arrest.
    He charged the cops.
    He was not a minor (mentioned by 996 in a question the of whom would be okay to taze)
    He did not deserve to die; yet, he put himself in a bad position with 3 consecutive poor choices.
  16. gator996
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    Are you kidding me?


    You two keep referring to the race of the kid which no one has brought up as an issue.


    I'm just wondering why you two keep bringing it up.

    What's your point in regards to this story?
  17. CHFG8R
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    Address this point and we can continue.

    The whole point of using tazers is to avoid incidents like this.
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    I don't keep bring it up. I mentioned it once, and replied to your post once, since all of the stories you have posted today have had to do with Black people and the law or Black kids being shot. Maybe you are trying to play games, I don't know but I do know but I have been around long enough to see patterns.
  19. toon66
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    Why did he run when they first approached him? He could have just stood still and not done anything. Great chance he wouldn't have gotten tased. Instead, he ran twice and the second time in what could be determined an aggressive manor towards the police officer. He had two opportunities to avoid further escalating a minor offense and chose to do something else.

    If you run, a cop on the street, whose life is in danger every time he is on the beat, probably believes there is a great reason for that. Therefore, he is on alert. If you run at a cop, you definitely put him in defensive mode and understandably so. In that scenario, I would tase the hell out of a potential assailant. In the old days, it seems to me that guns would have been draw and shots fired if a suspect had charged. IMO, the cops showed restraint in only pulling a taser.

    The fact that this guy died was an unfortunate and unnecessary result. He could avoided all of this by making better decisions and better choices. He knew what he was doing was against the law and he made it much worse.
  20. gator996
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    No that wasn't racist but given you display little knowledge of the kids art work but have no problem like you know he wasn't a legitimate artist.....

    learn something...

    At just 18, Israel Hernández-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 Colombia 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, like many property owners, consider graffiti taggers to be vandals, not artists.

    It was while spray-painting a shuttered McDonald’s early Tuesday morning that Hernández-Llach was chased down by Miami Beach police and shot in the chest with a Taser. He later died.

    Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez said the department “would like to extend its condolences to the family of Israel Hernández.”

    Two of the dead teenager’s friends, including one who says he was his “lookout” while Hernández-Llach applied paint, said the officers exchanged high-fives and congratulations after Tasering him.

    “He was on the ground and the cops were making jokes,” said 19-year-old Thiago Souza.

    Félix Fernández said he saw about five police officers chasing Hernández and shoving him against a wall. Then he saw his friend on the ground, surrounded by police.


    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/...artist-dies-after-tasering.html#storylink=cpy



    He also sold a line of skateboards and around the world there have been images mourning his death by other artists on instagram & twitter

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