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This kid, Israel Hernandez, was killed in Miami this week.  Apparently it’s ok, though.  See, he was in the midst of spray painting on a closed, dilapidated McDonalds that had already been the target of graffiti and miscellaneous posters.  The cops caught him in the act of painting and chased him. Somewhere in there they were forced to hit him with a taser.  They must have been forced, right? Tasers kill people, so I wouldn’t use one unless I was forced.  Here’s the graffiti:

“R” for “Rest in Peace?”

So, that paragraph above?  That’s my version.  Here’s the version from the police press release:

At 5:14 a.m. on August 6, 2013, Miami Beach Police Officers observed a subject vandalizing private property (graffiti) on 71st Street and Collins Avenue. As Officers approached, the subject fled the scene, ensuing a foot pursuit by Officers. During the foot pursuit, the subject encountered Officers face to face at 71st and Harding Avenue, and ignored Officers’ commands to stop. In order to affect his arrest, an Officer deployed his conducted electrical weapon (TASER). The subject was placed into custody.

Once in custody, the subject displayed signs of medical duress. Miami Beach Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported the subject to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The subject has been identified as Israel Hernandez.

At this time, the cause of death has not been determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Autopsy and toxicology results are still pending as well.

This incident is an open and ongoing investigation.

The City of Miami Beach would like to extend their condolences to the family of Israel Hernandez.

I love the use of the word “subject.”  God forbid you call a dead man by his given name.  Much easier to justify killing him when you objectify him, I guess.  “Medcial duress” is much more palatable than “convulsing and dying” or “gasping for his last breath” or whatever nasty condition happens when you get tased to death, too.

Glad they note that the cause of death hasn’t been determined, either. I mean, it’s pretty likely he probably, coincidentally, starved to death at the same time (but completely unrelated, of course) that they electrified him.  So, you can’t leave that out of the press release.  I should probably be happy, though. At least they didn’t (yet) come out and tell me they killed him according to police policy, so everything is wonderful.

Don’t these police press releases remind you of that Iraqi press minister who kept telling us that the Americans were being defeated in Iraq?  I wonder whatever happened to that guy?

I want a job writing police press releases. It’s got to be the best job in the world.  You just take a nasty incident, cut out the gory details, ignore anything that makes it sound like you might have messed up, push some blame off on the other people, and then tell people you’re still investigating.  Issue the release, refuse to answer face-to-face questions , keep telling people that everything you have to say is in the press release, and you are good to go.

Can anybody but the cops get away with this?  Can defense attorneys? Can attorneys for the Boston Marathon Bomber do this?  Think about it for a minute:

On April 15, 2013 a man temporarily misplaced a backpack containing cookware near the Boston Marathon.  Subsequently an emission of various gases and particles was reported in a similar vicinity.  Several subjects then reported medical duress.  After being transported to the hospital, some were pronounced dead.

Cause of death was not immediately determined and it is unknown if the cookware, emission and medcial duress were related. Investigation is ongoing.

No way, right? It’s offensive when somebody else downplays death and the conduct that causes it:

On Saturday, December 7, 1941 reports of airplanes in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor were received.  After discarding payload, the planes returned to Japan.  Some subjects in Pearl Harbor appeared to be in medical duress.

At this time the exact cause of the medical duress can not be determined.  The Imperial Japanese Navy apologies to anybody purportedly affected.

Investigation continues into whether or not the discarded Japanese payload may have been connected to the sunken ships and “medical duress” or whether American political policy was to blame.

So, Israel Hernandez suffered medical duress and died.  Or, at least a “subject” later identified as him did.  Israel Hernandez, or a “subject” also, apparently, was spray painting on a building and deserved to get shocked with a taser.  According to the police press release, those to events might be completely unrelated.

Thanks for the information, I guess.