Miami Graffiti Artist ‘Demz’ Rodriguez Gutierrez Dies after Being Hit by an Unmarked Police Cruiser By Tod Aronovitz | 12/15/14 | 0 Comment

Police confirmed that known Miami graffiti artist, Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, died December 9 at Jackson Memorial Hospital as a result of a critical brain injury he sustained in a tragic accident involving a police cruiser that ran him over during a chase.

According to an update that aired on NBC 6 South Florida, “Demz” is the second graffiti artist to die in the last two years at the hands of police.  Israel “Reefa” Hernandez, whom we reported about on our ARONOVITZ LAW Blog on August 14, 2013, died when a Miami Beach police officer tasered him in the chest after he was caught spray painting an abandoned building.

Police say this accident occurred on December 5 after 21-year old Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez was caught tagging a privately-owned building at Northwest 5th Avenue and 24th Street around 2 am.  The police accounted that once “Demz” saw flashing lights, he took off.

According to police, Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez jumped out from between two vehicles when Detective Michael Cadavid turned the corner in his unmarked car and struck him, an earlier news story on 6 South Florida reported. The car’s speed was less than 15 mph when it hit Gutierrez, black box data on the cruiser revealed.

“This was a tragic car accident which has left both families devastated,” Miami Police said in a statement on December 10. “The Miami Police Department offers our condolences and prayers.”

However, Gutierrez’s mother has criticized Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa for calling the incident an “accident” before speed of the car had even been determined.

Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, issued a statement saying they are awaiting the outcome as the investigation is still ongoing.

“No matter how this incident transpired, the focus must be that a life was lost and we must keep his family in prayer throughout this difficult time,” Ortiz said in the story.

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