Cop in Fatal Tasering Has Other Incidents in File

The Miami Beach Police officer who used a Taser on teen Israel Hernandez has had previous controversial incidents.

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013  |  Updated 4:38 PM EDT
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Jorge Mercado, the Miami Beach Police officer who used a Taser on teen Israel Hernandez has had previous controversial incidents. NBC 6's Myriam Masihy has the story.

Jorge Mercado, the Miami Beach Police officer who used a Taser on teen Israel Hernandez has had previous controversial incidents. NBC 6's Myriam Masihy has the story.

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A Miami Beach police officer involved in the stun gun death of an 18-year-old graffiti artist has controversial incidents in his personnel file.

The Miami Herald reports Officer Jorge Mercado's file includes a complaint from an Iraq War veteran who says he was beaten and Tasered by Mercado and other officers in 2008.

Israel Hernandez died Aug. 6 after officers used a Taser when he ignored their orders to stop.

The Herald reports the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reprimanded Mercado for flunking a drug test. He was also among officers caught up in 2011 overtime scandal and was accused of breaking a man's nose in an off-duty incident.

Mercado was either cleared or the cases were dropped for lack of evidence, in every case except the drug test for which he received a 160-hour suspension.

"It is not unusual to receive that number of complaints considering the number of arrests the officer has over the course of his career," said Alex Bello, with the Fraternal Order of Police.

Mercado was placed on administrative leave for three days following the teen's death, and has since been reassigned from patrol to the economic crimes unit.

The FDLE is now looking into Hernandez's death as officials wait for autopsy and toxicology reports to determine an official cause of death.

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