22:37 GMT20 January 2021
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    A Miami Beach police officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old graffiti artist with a Taser in 2013 will not be charged after medical examiners determined the young man’s heart collapsed “accidently.”

    The office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle concluded that officer Jorge Mercado acting properly during the arrest of Israel Hernandez-Llach and was “legally justified in his use of force” against the deceased, so no charges will follow.

    The medical examination showed that despite the fact that Hernandez-Llach’s cardiac arrest was caused by a non-lethal electronic device shot, his death was accidental.

    “Our extensive investigation determined that the sad tragedy of this situation is that no one involved intended or anticipated any serious injury occurring to this young man,” Fernandez Rundle announced in a statement.

    Today, 2 years after Reefa's death, Miami's Prosecutor Katherine Fernandez-Rundle decided NOT to press charges against…

    Posted by Justice for Israel Hernandez "Reefa" on Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Police caught Hernandez-Llach spray-painting the wall of abandoned McDonald’s restaurant in Miami Beach on August, 6, 2013. The young man started to flee as police moved towards him, and refused orders to stop, according to prosecution’s report. Police pursued Hernandez-Llach through alleyways, an occupied apartment building, and over a fence in a chase that culminated in officer Mercado shooting him in the chest with a Taser.

    When the young man fell on the ground without signs of life, “officers laughed and high-fived,” eyewitnesses said.  He was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was declared dead about an hour later.

    Message #RIPREEFA

    Фото опубликовано @djynot Авг 9 2013 в 9:08 PDT

    The artist’s family filed a lawsuit against the city of Miami Beach following the incident. Their lawyer, Todd Falzone, told the New York Times they were disappointed with the state attorney’s announcement.

    The ruling was reliant on Florida law authorizing Officer Mercado to use force against a fleeing suspect and to protect himself.  He told investigators Hernandez-Llach was running toward him during the chase, a claim that Falzone said “doesn’t make any sense.”

    “I’m looking forward to the day when we can get these people under oath in the civil case and they have to start answering questions,” the lawyer concluded.

    Over 500 US residents have been killed by stun devices such as Tasers since 2001, Amnesty International reported.


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    graffiti, Police brutality, Taser, shooting, Miami Beach, Florida, US
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