By Davy V.
For the first time, I went to the scene where 20 year old Israel "Izzy" Andino was executed by a firing squad of 7 Rochester, N.Y. Police officers just a few houses from his Locust Street home on Rochester's northwest side. Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard claims that Andino fired at his officers first. Witnesses say that is absolutely not true and that the Rochester Police is lying in order to cover up the incident.
Andino, who had a history of mental health issues, got into an argument with his mother, pushed her against a wall, then ran out of the house. Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard claims that Andino made a call to 911 saying that he had just stabbed his mother and was going to shoot other people.
The truth however is that Israel Andino never stabbed his mother, he simply pushed her and she suffered some minor cuts and bruises. Less than 20 minutes later, 7 Rochester Police officers opened fire on Izzy, killing him instantly.
A curbside memorial with candles, teddy bears and a wooden cross with black and red New York Yankees baseball caps hanging from it, marks the spot where Izzy's body lay. In the center of the memorial, a birthday cake wrapped in plastic. Israel "Izzy" Andino was executed on his birthday. The sidewalk was still stained a brownish red from his blood. Dozens of neighbors and friends walked up to the memorial, crying and hugging each other.
One woman came up to me sobbing asking me if the rumor was true. "Are they really going to take his body back to Puerto Rico?" she asked me as she choked back her tears. I told her I did not know.
As I stood there, there was one thing I did know. I knew that this young man did not have to die like this, in what I call a "firing squad" of at least 7 Rochester, N.Y. Police officers who all shot 20 year old Israel Andino at the same time.
Someone in the crowd wanted me to see where the bullets hit. There were so many that I couldn't keep up. Some people said that as many as 11 bullets hit Izzy in his torso, more commonly referred to by police officers as "center mass." It is that section of the body just above the waist and just below the neck. It is where police officers are trained to shoot, and not shoot to wound, shoot to kill.
There were at least 3 bullets that hit the asphalt driveway of the house at 103 Locust Street which is where Israel was executed. The bullets made dents on the pavement, and I could still see the white chalk circles that Rochester Police technicians drew around the dents marking where each bullet hit.
At least three homes on the street were also hit in the barrage of bullets, including 103 Locust St.
There was a bullet that hit the porch and broke off one of the sections of siding. Little splinters of wood lay scattered on the grass in front of the house, from where the bullet penetrated deep into the house underneath the siding. Another bullet hit the porch's ceiling, which had to be at least 15 feet off street level which is where all 7 Rochester Police officers were shooting from. That bullet then ricocheted off the ceiling and went through the home's front window, were a family was inside with their young children.
A young man told me that a van, which was parked in the driveway and was also riddled with bullets was towed away by the R.P.D. technicians for evidence.
The houses next door were also riddled with bullets. In all, I counted at least 15 shots that hit the houses, not counting the 11 that hit Israel or the ones that hit the van.
As I stood there taking it all in, not only was I thinking just how senseless it was that a young man with mental health issues who needed help, was instead executed by at least 7 cops, but I also couldn't help but to think of how reckless these Rochester Police officers were to fire these many shots at 7:30 in the morning, in the direction of several homes with innocent families and young children.
And as I looked at the blood-stained sidewalk, I couldn't help but to feel sad for this young man who did not deserve to die being target practice for a gang of trigger happy R.P.D. cops.
The Rochester, N.Y. Police department ordered the owner of a corner grocery store to close, then confiscated video surveillance of the store's camera, which captured the moments before Izzy was executed. Witnesses say that the police officers had several opportunities to move in on Israel Andino without needing to shoot him. In fact, several people said that Israel Andino kneeled down near the store's parking lot and had the rifle across his lap, while he slapped his forehaed with both of his hands. Witnesses say that this should have been a perfect time for R.P.D. officers to taser Izzy, or use another weapon the R.P.D. made a huge deal about years ago, but almost never use, the bean bag gun.
A bean bag round consists of a small fabric "pillow" which is filled with #9 lead shot, and is fired from a normal 12-gauge shotgun. It is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration but will result in a muscle spasm or other reaction to briefly render a violent suspect immobile.
As I was getting ready to leave the curbside memorial, one of Izzy's friends came up to me. This man was the same one who in news reports had described Izzy as a good kid, and as someone whom his kids, especially his three year old son "adored." The man asked me "You want to know something I saw that I can't get out of my mind?" then he said to me "As Izzy's body lay there on that sidewalk for almost 8 hours, uncovered, an R.P.D. cop came over to the body, slapped Izzy's face a few times then said, Yep! he's dead and chuckled."
Not only did the R.P.D. execute a Mentally-ill man in firing squad fashion, but even after this young man's body lay on the sidewalk, full of bullet holes, R.P.D. cops disrespect his corpse and make fun of his death.
Carmen Baez, Israel's mother said "I need justice to be done for my child, because I feel what was done to my child was unjustifiable for me. They never tried to talk him down.”
Please help Israel "Izzy" Andino's family with burial expenses and to get him a gravestone.
Here is the link.
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