Family, friends remember teen tasered by police

Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:08:52 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 06 2014 11:29:00 PM EDT

Family and friends gathered at the Miami Beach Bandshell to remember a teenage graffiti artist known as Reefa.


Many gathered at the North Beach Bandshell Wednesday night, marking one year since Israel Hernandez, 18, died after being tasered by Miami Beach police.

His sister read Hernandez's poetry, and the popular Miami artist's artwork was on display as many gathered to remember his life.

Family and friends rallied for answers and justice, claiming they've seen neither since the death.

"I stand up every day because I believe in change," said Hernandez's sister, Offir. "I believe we can all stand up."

The local artist, better known as Reefa, had been caught painting graffiti on a building along Collins Avenue and decided to run from police, according to investigators.

Officers chased the teen, who was ultimately shot with a Taser by Officer Jorge Mercado.

The medical examiner said Hernandez's death was the result of the Taser. Mercado was placed on administrative leave but is back on duty.

Hernandez's relatives said they are outraged that the state attorney has not acted and no one has been held accountable for the teen's death.

Police Chief Dan Oates said he is waiting on the State Attorney's Office for details before discussing any internal changes.

The state attorney's office said it is still investigating.


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