Target: Governor of Florida, Rick Scott
Goal: Hold a Miami police officer accountable for excessive force and wrongful death involving police taser
In August of 2013, Israel Hernandez died due to heart failure when Miami Police Officer Jorge Mercado unnecessarily and excessively used a taser upon him. Officer Mercado had just caught Hernandez spray painting on the wall of an abandoned fast-food restaurant. The act of graffiti would have only cost Hernandez a second-degree misdemeanor charge for property damage, if he were still alive. Mercado claims that he was forced to use the taser to avoid a physical incident, however the situation did not seem to require such harsh tactics. Since then, Mercado has somehow managed to avoid any definite punishment to suit his crime. On March 10, 2014, Hernandez’s supporters, which included his friends and family, rallied together to campaign for the prosecution of Officer Mercado.
Israel Hernandez was an eighteen year old aspiring artist whose artwork had won several local awards. He had much to offer the world, but unfortunately his life met an abrupt end. Hernandez’s death was not the only one caused by excessive police use of tasers. There have been many incidents of police taser related deaths in Miami. Many of those deaths were said to have been caused by a very controversial diagnosis called excited delirium. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, excited delirium is an excuse the police uses to cover up their excessive force and heavy handed tactics.
Mercado may have been able to avoid punishment for his crimes so far, but we can not let him hide behind the excuse of excited delirium any longer. Israel Hernandez did not deserve to die and his killer should not be able to get away without any consequences. Sign this petition and bring this to justice.
Dear Governor Rick Scott,
It has come to my attention that there has been yet another police taser related death in the city of Miami. Israel Hernandez, an eighteen year old aspiring artist, died due to heart failure after Miami Police Officer Jorge Mercado excessively used his taser on him.
Hernandez was caught spraying graffiti on the side of an abandoned fast-food restaurant. Although I do recognize that that is a crime, it did not require such harsh tactics. I believe that there were many other less life threatening options Officer Mercado could have used to subdue Hernandez, but unfortunately he chose to use the taser. The use of the taser was unnecessary in that situation and being a police officer, Mercado should have known better.
I urge you to see to it that Officer Mercado receives the consequences he deserves for the decision he made. If not for his excessive use of his taser, Israel Hernandez would still be alive today.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Marcelo Freixo via flickr