Friends Of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez Respond To Autopsy Report

Mar 10, 2014

Estomba speaks in front of Rundle's office.
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Friends of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez held a news conference in response to his autopsy report released last week, seven months after his death. The teen died in August after being shot with a stun gun by Miami Beach police when he was caught defacing an abandoned building. The autopsy report says Hernandez's death was "accidental through electrical discharge." Now, the State Attorney's office must finish investigating before they can decide whether or not to press charges in the death. 

Jorge Estomba is a member of the Justice for Reefa committee. He says Hernandez's death was no accident.

"Israel Hernandez Jr. did not fall on a Taser," Estomba says. "[He] was intentionally tasered to death. [He] committed a misdemeanor [and] did not have any weapons on him according to the police reports."

Estomba says the Hernandez family wants to officer responsible, Jorge Mercado, arrested or at least suspended without pay. After Hernandez's death, Mercado was put on paid administrative leave.

Terry Chavez is a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. She says the State Attorney's office needs more information from Miami Beach police before they can finish the investigation.

"Our decision will be based on the totality of the facts," Chavez said in a prepared statement. "Once we have received everything from the police department, our office will move forward finalizing our report based on the evidence, the testimony of witnesses and the law."

The State Attorney's office does not have a set timetable for finishing the investigation.