Source: Elizabeth Chuck / NBC News
A Miami Beach, Fla., teenager who died in police custody after he was Tasered has left his family grieving and his community asking if his death could have been prevented.
Israel Hernandez-Llach, 18, was spotted vandalizing private property in Miami Beach with graffiti by police officers on Tuesday morning at 5:14 a.m. local time, according to a statement from police. Hernandez ran from oficers, who chased him on foot. When they caught up to him a block later, Hernandez allegedly ignored officers’ commands to stop running, and an officer Tasered him and arrested him.
Once he was in custody, Hernandez-Llach “displayed signs of medical duress,” according to the police statement. He was transported to Miami Beach’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a police report.
The death of the Miami Beach Senior High student, known for his artistic achievements — including a congressional honor from Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for his art, according to sister Offir Hernandez-Llach, who spoke to NBC Miami — prompted his family to hire attorneys. The attorneys said they were calling for outside agencies to investigate the case.
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