Committee wants officer charged with manslaughter in Israel Hernandez death

18-year-old died after he was tasered by Miami Beach police officer

Author: Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Oct 11 2013 11:33:05 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2013 06:16:41 PM EDT
Israel Hernandez
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

The Justice for Israel "Reefa" Hernandez Committee wants manslaughter charges filed against the Miami Beach police officer who tasered the 18-year-old shortly before he died.

Members of the committee gave a letter to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle on Friday asking she file charges against Jorge Mercado.

"In light of the known facts in this case, it is hard to read Florida law and Miami Beach policy without wondering why an arrest has yet to be made," the letter stated.

The State Attorney's Office, which hasn't received autopsy results yet, said the case was still open.

Officers found Hernandez spraying graffiti on a building at 71st Street and Collins Avenue on Aug. 6, police said. He then ran from the officers.

Officers told Hernandez to stop running and when he did not comply, Mercado tasered him, according to a police report. Soon after, Hernandez began showing signs of medical distress.

Hernandez was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital a short time later.