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A different fate awaited Israel Hernandez of Miami Beach, Florida a week and a half ago.

An 18-year-old artist who died after he was Tased by police for spraying graffiti on an abandoned building has been laid to rest in an emotional ceremony in Miami.

Jacqueline Llach, the mother of Israel Hernandez-Llach, was seen clasping other family members as she sobbed and followed close behind his casket, which was buried at Vista Memorial Gardens in Miami Lakes on Wednesday...

The teenager, an award-winning artist, was stunned in the chest after officers reportedly caught him spray-painting the front of a closed McDonald's and gave chase for ten minutes before catching him... Thiago Souza, who was with Hernandez-Llach... said ... 'they were all clapping and doing high-fives all over his body. It was almost like they were proud of what they did.'

Hernandez, who identified himself by the so-called tag name 'Reefa', was known for his graffiti work as well as for his sculptures and paintings. 'He did it a lot,' said Hernandez's friend, Rafael Lynch, referring to his graffiti. 'He wasn't a bad person at all. The cops didn't like him or what he looked like.'


Israel Hernandez Fungeral photo israel-hernandez-funeral_zpsa3c56e5e.jpg

 

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street and Police Accountability Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What team are you on? (10+ / 0-)
    They were all clapping and doing high-fives all over his body.
    The militarization of the police has a certain type of team mentality that is very ugly. Why do they forget that they are to protect and serve? That kid is who they are supposed to protect.

    Instead they treat him like prey.

    I do not recognize the country I grew up in.

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:37:08 PM PDT

    •  years of marginalization of "the other" (4+ / 0-)

      creates a police force that does this, a criminal system that will probably exonerate them, and a media system that will reward the police for their actions with book deals and national interviews.

      I totally agree... I do not recognize the country I grew up in.

      Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

      by skip945 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the pack mentality. Whatever hormones (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, DerAmi, annan, jpmassar

      fuel the chase won't let them stop until they bring down the prey.
      It seems like instinct-driven people, who don't reflect and don't respect, are proving ideal candidates for the culture of obedience. They're authoritarians. They're not authors, who create things; they just move people around -- sort of like blue heelers, dogs that snap at the heels of sheep to keep them in the flock. Very primitive behavior -- no cognition required. They don't think for themselves and that's how their superiors and supervisors like them.
      Modern day policing is a lot like herding. Sheep dogs, you know, are domesticated wolves. The problem isn't so much that the forces have been weaponized or militarized, but that they've been professionalized. In addition to being outfitted with a cocoon (a vehicle and electronic armor) that isolates them physically, the officers are trained to be responsive to the demands of an organization, rather than the citizenry. So, for example, the top dogs are responsive to the International Association of Chiefs of Police. What the citizens, who hire and pay them, expect, doesn't even enter into their considerations.
      A lot of effort has gone into intimidating the citizenry. Partly that's been achieved by creating a closed fraternity (including women), akin to a priesthood. Ostensibly, they serve the law, but since they do not know what the law is, the association, pack, organization, order is what counts.

      •  It's weird ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, etbnc

        when you think of police organizations as pack animals trained to maintain order in the flock. That really explains a lot of the behavior we're seeing.

        It's like watching a Hollywood dystopia playing out in cities and towns all over the country. Only the horror is real.

        Looking at it this way explains what I've been sensing but couldn't articulate. Once something like this gets embedded in the culture, how in the world can it be stopped?

        I suppose we could look to Germany, Italy or Argentina for answers. Clearly the same behavior was rampant during the fascist years in those countries. How were those cultures renewed over the past few generations? Or are the handlers/movers still there, in a different form that isn't as obvious?

        Hannah, you write about instinct driven people a lot. I would like to know more. Have you written a diary about that?

        "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

        by annan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:54:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Frankly, I don't keep track. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, annan

          Hannah Blog has the original of most of what I write. It's even got stuff from before there was an internet, though not before there were computers. :)
          I think it was actually that California minister, whom Obama invited to the first inauguration, who wrote about the purpose-driven life, which led me to explore the "driven" as opposed to self-directed personality. I suspect self-direction depends on reflection and an awareness of self that some people seem to lack. We all act out of habit, if only because it is more efficient (think back to when you were learning to drive and how long it took to think about each action), but the self-aware are able to reconsider, reflect, correct. The instinct-driven just do the same thing over and over again.

          http://hannah.smith-family.com/

          •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

            Cool. And this is the gist of your thinking about instinct driven people?

            .... which led me to explore the "driven" as opposed to self-directed personality .... the self-aware are able to reconsider, reflect, correct. The instinct-driven just do the same thing over and over again.
            Thanks for the response and link to your blog. I look forward to learning more.

            "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

            by annan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:56:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Robert O. Paxton (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CenPhx, jpmassar, annan

          A guy named Robert O. Paxton analyzed how societies become fascist / authoritarian. He suggests there are five stages to the process. By at least one account the US has been in stage three for several years.

          Wikipedia on Paxton

          link to five stages paper (PDF)

          ----
          This space intentionally left blank.

          by etbnc on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:25:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. Powerful stuff. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            etbnc

            I just glanced at the five stages paper, but what I've read so far is chilling. Thank you for this link. Deserves a diary.

            Of particular interest is the idea that fascist regimes are always home-grown, with the look and feel of the surrounding culture. Also, that the original movement deforms as it matures and wields power.

            Once in power it looks vastly different than the movement that birthed it, both reasons why it's so confusing to talk about fascism in different cultures.

            Thanks, etbnc.

            "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

            by annan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:50:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  And don't believe for a split second that (8+ / 0-)

    you won't be the next one.
    For your looks.
    For your clothes.
    For your accent.
    For your skin color.
    For your nation of origin.
    For your genetic makeup.
    For your sexual orientation.
    For your religious beliefs.
    For your political persuasions.
    For your "perceived danger".

    You will be.

    And we'll write about how horrible it is on DKos... what they did to you... and then we'll fight between us about your real danger to the police... and they will set them free...

    And nothing changes...

    The power holders win again.

    Time to take back the power and make our governments accountable.

    Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

    by skip945 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:05:30 AM PDT

  •  One more time, with no feeling... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brasilaaron, jpmassar

    Tasers constitute cruel and unusual punishment — especially applied before the arrest — or the death. Tasering's quicker than waterboarding and more personal than gunfire. Cops ask for it by name. Please see my diary for more on this...

    In Puritan times, stocks and bonds were not rewards for evil-doers, but punishments.

    by Mike732 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:29:09 AM PDT

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