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Hosted by Subhash Kateel
Produced by Aidil Oscariz, Bruce Wayne Stanley & Muhammed Malik

We know, we know.  Our show’s technical difficulties last week shut us down right as we were talking about the government being shutdown.  But we are back this week.

1.  We check in with Nicole Woo of the Center for Economic and Political Research on our government as the shutdown hits its second week.

2. We report back from the #JusticeforReefa march through Miami Beach on the 2 month anniversary of Israel “Reefa” Hernandez’s alleged tasing death at the hands of Miami Beach police veteran Jorge Mercado.  Our guests are Israel’s family attorney Jose Javier Rodriguez and Israel’s sister Offir Hernandez.  Plus, this week the family is asking everyone to make calls to Miami prosecutor (State Attorney) Katherine Fernandez-Rundle demanding that the officer who killed Israel Hernandez be charged.  Get more info here.

3. We talk to filmmaker Angad Bhalla (Director of Herman’s House) about about Herman Wallace, a man who spent 40 years in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison, had a judge order his release last week, and died two days later.

4.  While almost everyone knows about the government shutdown, few people know that some
politicians are still at work pushing a
NAFTA-like fake free trade agreement on steroids, the #TPP (Trans-Pacific
.  Rep. Alan Grayson, Margaret Flowers (Flush the TPP), David Christoper(Open Media) & D’Marie Mulattieri (Expose the TPP) will tell us more.

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Hosted by Subhash Kateel
Segments co-produced by Aidil Oscariz, Bruce Wayne Stanley and Muhammed Malik
1. Remembering Reefa
Last week, 18 year-old Israel Hernandez-Llach (aka Reefa) was tased to death by Miami Beach Police veteran Jorge Mercado after being chased down for tagging (spray-painting) the wall of a vacant McDonald’s in North Beach.  Tonight we will be joined by friends and supporters of Israel’s family to talk about who he was and why they are fighting for justice in his case.  Guests include friends of Israel Hernandez Yorkys Rodriguez, Heather
Bozzone and Alexandria Morgan, Attorney Jose Rodriguez, Billy Corben
(Director Cocaine Cowboys, The U, etc.) and former police officer
Jeffrey Frazier (  Plus check the article we wrote on Reefa’s death here. For info on donating for funeral costs, visit here.
2. Stopping New York’s “Stop and Frisks”
A judge just ruled that the NYPD’s notorious “Stop and Frisk” program violated the constitution.  Tonight, we check in with one of the attorneys on the case, Center for Constitutional Right‘s Sunita Patel about what this means for New York and cities that are trying to follow the NYPD’s lead.

By Subhash Kateel

This past week another young
man from Miami with a promising life was cut down needlessly. Another mother is
left to mourn her son while spending the next several holidays staring at an
empty chair.  Another group of friends
will reflect in the past tense about a friend that is no longer with them.  And yet again, another killer will likely
walk the street, spend holidays with his family and hang out with his
friends.  This time the killer will probably
even get his job back…as a Miami Beach Police Officer. 
By now you probably know
that young man’s name is not Trayvon Martin, it is Israel
. His friends call him Reefa.  He was killed Tuesday after police caught him
spray-painting an “R” on the wall of a vacant MacDonald’s in North Beach (where
most people are familiar with the building’s abandoned-ness and ugliness).  Several police chased the 18 year-old for ten
minutes before catching up to him and tasing him to death, reportedly to avoid “physically restraining him.”
There are plenty of
differences between Reefa and the also-needlessly dead Travyon Martin. Reefa was
originally from Colombia, Trayvon was born and raised in Miami.  Reefa was 18 when he died, Trayvon was 17.
Trayvon’s killer was a neighborhood watchman while Reefa’s killer is Miami
Beach Police veteran Jorge Mercado. 
Trayvon was never accused of a crime when Zimmerman started following
him, Reefa was tagging a vacant building when cops chased him, a crime
many consider an art form. But the similarities are important to note.  Like Trayvon, legions of Miamians loved Reefa.  In both cases, there
is plenty in the law
to charge and convict the killers of both teenagers,
but the system is stacked against either ever seeing a day in prison.  Finally, the way the public responds to both teenagers’
deaths has the potential to change the system so that no young person will ever
again meet their fate.
I have said a million times
, Florida law, however flawed it may be,
does not allow a person who provokes a conflict to categorically claim self
defense as George Zimmerman did.  He
should have never been able to claim he stood his ground.  But the system (the police, prosecutors,
judge and jury) never followed the law as it is written. The law in Israel’s
case is even more clear, yet the system is not used to treating law enforcement
officers as if the laws they enforce should ever apply to them.  In other words, officers who act above the
law have almost always been allowed to do what Zimmerman did, claim they are
standing their ground even when they aren’t.
State law
, (the same set of statutes that contain Stand Your Ground) clearly
says that an officer is justified in using force in three circumstances:
1. [In] which he or she reasonably believes [it] to be
necessary to defend himself or
herself or another from bodily harm
while making the arrest;
2. When necessarily committed in
retaking felons who have escaped; or
3. When necessarily committed in
arresting felons fleeing from
The Miami Beach Police Department’s own
say that the first five factors an officer is suppose to
consider when using force are:
1. Seriousness of the crime committed;
2. Size, age and weight;
3. Apparent physical ability;
4. Weapons possessed by or available;
5. Known history of violence
Additionally, their guidelines
for when an “Electronic Control Device” (X26 Taser) is to be used on humans (as
opposed to animals) is limited to when:
a. The subject is not in the physical
control of the officer yet posses a
; (misspelling is theirs, I assume it is meant to read “poses”) 

b. The officer, based on objective
reasonableness, perceives an imminent
threat of
physical force against himself, other persons, property or self-inflicted injury
Reefa’s detractors declare
that he was a criminal who tagged a privately owned building, however objectively
ugly and abandoned it may be, and was therefore asking to be tased to death. But the likely crime
he was tased for is a misdemeanor
(punishable by few months in jail and a fine) not a felony as the law kind of indicates it should be if police are
going to use force.  Furthermore, by all
accounts, Reefa stood about 5 foot 6,weighed 150 pounds and “hardly
posed a threat to anyone
.”  He had no
weapons and no criminal history.  Under
no objective measure could he be seen as a threat to several well-armed
police officers who
allegedly high-fived
each other as his tased body lay dying in the
Those are the facts based on
the law and on the Miami Beach Police Department’s own policies.  With those facts there is enough evidence for
the Miami Dade State Attorney (prosecutor) Katherine
Fernandez Rundle
to file criminal charges against Officer Jorge Mercado immediately.  There is enough evidence for the US Attorney
in Miami (a federal prosecutor)Wilfredo Ferrer  to file Federal criminal
against Mercado immediately. 
There is also enough evidence for the Miami Beach Police Chief, Raymond Martinez,
to fire Mercado immediately.  Every
minute that goes by that none of these things happen is a minute in which the agencies
that are tasked with upholding the law are failing at their jobs. 
In the coming weeks there is
bound to be a plethora of spin, excuses and justification for why the man who
murdered Reefa is not really a murderer, why Reefa is not really a victim and
why his killing is not really illegal. People will talk about how safe Tasers
are as opposed to real guns, even though over 500
people have been killed by them since 2001
, more than have been killed in mass
during the same period.  The
officers will likely claim that they felt threatened by Reefa, even though
their alleged actions seem to indicate the opposite.  Prosecutors will likely say that the law
prevents them from charging Mercado, even though the letter of the law
disagrees. Lastly, there are bound to be tons of Internet trolls that cast Reefa
as a thug and the cop who killed him as a hero. 
The loved ones, friends and supporters of Reefa should acknowledge all
of these things for what they are, excuses for murder, and prepare themselves
for the long fight for justice.

UPDATE:  Check our show on Israel “Reefa” Hernandez-Llach here: