Another Young Man Dies After Being Tasered, This Time By Miami-Dade Police
Six months to the day after teenager Israel "Reefa" Hernandez died when Miami Beach cops shot him with a Taser, another young man has met the same fate -- this time when Miami-Dade Police used the device.
Willie Sams was visiting family members in Liberty City on February 5 when he got into a confrontation with cops. The 21-year-old from Georgia was Tasered and died shortly thereafter, the Miami Herald reports.
Miami-Dade Police have confirmed the incident, but the Medical Examiner's office has yet to announce a cause of death.
Florida Launch vs. Atlanta Blaze
TicketsSat., Jun. 17, 7:00pm
NPC Southern States Bikini, Figure, Men's Physique
TicketsFri., Jul. 7, 6:00pm
NPC Southern States Bodybuilding Championships vs. NPC Southern States Fitness & Figure Championships
TicketsSat., Jul. 8, 6:00pm
Florida Launch vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks
TicketsSat., Jul. 15, 7:00pm
"An encounter occurred between the officers and Mr. Sams," according to a MDPD statement. "The officers deployed an electronic control device, striking Mr. Sams. [Miami-Dade Fire Rescue] was called to the scene and Mr. Sams was transported to North Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased."
Sams was from the small town of Palmetto, Georgia, and was studying to become a barber, the Herald reports.
Facebook photos show a photogenic 21-year-old who loved to give friends and family members boosted fades.
Willie James Sams, bottom left, on his Facebook page
Sams is far from the first person to die after being Tasered by Miami cops.
But as New Times revealed back in 2010, authorities never admit that the massive electrical shock is actually the cause of death. Instead, medical examiners often cite a mysterious condition called "excited delirium."
Moreover, it could be months -- maybe years -- before a cause of death is announced.
Authorities have yet to release Reefa's official death report, for instance. So the mystery around Sams death in Liberty City isn't likely to be resolved any time soon.
Sams' mother, Lagayla Bennett, told the Herald that she spent more than a week in Miami trying to retrieve her son's body, and that MDPD had ignored her calls.
"To this day no one has called me to say my son passed," Bennett said. "Now I'm trying to track down his driver's license."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.