MIAMI – Prosecutors will not bring criminal charges against a Miami Beach police officer whose use of a Taser caused the accidental death of a young graffiti artist almost two years ago.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katharine Fernandez Rundle said Thursday no charges were possible after a medical examiner ruled the Aug. 6, 2013 death of 18-year-old Israel "Reefa" Hernandez-Llach was accidental.
Hernandez-Llach died after Miami Beach Officer Jorge Mercado used a Taser on the teenager during a foot chase triggered after a witness saw him spray-painting graffiti on an abandoned building. The prosecution report found Mercado was legally justified in using the electronic device and had no "reasonable expectation" it would kill Hernandez-Llach.
The teenager's family has sued the police department and Hernandez-Llach's friends and supporters had earlier staged protests seeking action.