Extreme Force

Graffiti Artist Tasered to Death by Cops

The family and friends of Israel Hernandez are demanding an explanation as to why the Miami graffiti artist, only 18, died in police custody this week after being tasered. Hernandez was reportedly tagging his nickname, “Reefa,” on the wall of an abandoned McDonald’s early Tuesday morning when he ran from a group of cops who flagged him for vandalism. The skater dodged more than half a dozen officers for several blocks before he was caught, pushed up against a wall, and tasered. After showing signs of medical distress in police custody, Hernandez was transported to a local hospital, where he died of unconfirmed causes. Friends have suggested that Hernandez, originally from Colombia, may have run from the cops because he was concerned about his immigration status and because he’d smoked marijuana earlier in the day.