Kin of Colombian teen killed by police sue Miami Beach
The family of a Colombian teen artist who died after police fired a Taser at him when he was caught painting graffiti in Miami Beach, has filed suit against the police and the city.
"This is a civil lawsuit against City of Miami Beach and Raymond Martinez, in his official capacity as chief of the Miami Beach Police Department," Todd McPharlin, lawyer for the family of teen artist Israel Hernandez Llach, said Tuesday.
Hernandez Llach, 18, died August 6 in police custody after he was detained on suspicion of painting graffiti in the touristy beachfront city just over a bridge from Miami.
McPharlin said the city of Miami Beach is responsible for "the actions of the Miami Beach Police Department and its personnel and responsible for supervising, training, instructing and controlling the conduct and actions of the officers and staff."
Painting on others' property as the suspect was believed to have done, "if true, would to amount to a second degree misdemeanor under Florida law," his family's attorney said.
Yet "officers aggressively, physically handled and mistreated the decedent and used unnecessary, excessive and unconstitutional force on Israel Hernandez Llach, including the use of a weapon known as an electric control device or 'Taser' and Israel subsequently died while in the custody of the said officers."
He said Miami Beach police have no rules in place to avoid excessive use of force, that "officers are not properly trained or have appropriate supervision for the use of Taser and they are not trained to provide medical care when they use the Taser."
The civil suit was filed in Miami-Dade county court for an unspecified sum.
The officer in the case has been placed on administrative leave.