Graffiti tributes cost taxpayers, business owners

Buildings tagged as tribute to Israel Hernandez-Llach


It costs taxpayers and business owners to clean up the graffiti sprayed on sidewalks and buildings to honor Israel Hernandez-Llach, the 18-year-old who died after he was tasered by a Miami Beach police officer.

On Monday morning, his nickname "Reefa" covered buildings at 71st Street and Collins Avenue. Taxpayers pay for the graffiti to be removed from public areas, like sidewalks, said city officials. Business owners face code violations if graffiti sprayed on their buildings isn't cleaned up quickly enough.

The building covered in graffiti was where police say they found Hernandez-Llach tagging a building last Tuesday. An officer tasered Hernandez-Llach after he ran from police, according to a police report.

Soon after, he began showing signs of medical distress. Hernandez-Llach was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital a short time later.

An autopsy was inconclusive. His family said he didn't have any preexisting health conditions that could be blamed for his sudden death. Toxicology results are pending.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will review the Miami Beach Police Department's internal affairs investigation into Hernandez-Llach's death.

Those who say he was wrongfully killed gathered over the weekend for a vigil.

Miami Beach has had 197 graffiti cases from Oct. 1, 2012, to Aug. 11, 2013, according to city records.

Read: City code on graffiti

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