Miami Beach Cop Who Tasered, Killed Teenaged Tagger Also Punched Someone at a Concert, Arrested an Elderly Woman Who Asked for Help, and Participated in Alleged Beating of Iraq War Vet

fatally tasered by copInstagramEarlier this month, Miami Beach police officer Jorge Mercado tased and killed 18-year-old Israel Hernandez after the teen was allegedly caught spray painting a building late at night. The Miami New Times obtained much of the cop’s internal affair file, which:

show that Mercado arrested an old woman last year as she tried to navigate Memorial Day weekend traffic. In 2007, he punched a guy during a concert. Worst of all, he and fellow cops were accused of Tasering and beating an Iraq War veteran in 2008.

The only accusation that was sustained, however, was a 2008 investigation into overtime abuse among Miami Beach police officers.

Mercado has six IA cases: four were sent to New Times. Of the other two, one stems from him Tasering Hernandez and is currently open. The other involves a mysterious, substantiated violation of departmental drug testing procedures.

A MBPD spokesman said that the drug case was closed but could not be released because of HIPAA law governing personal medical information.

The Times has the details on the four cases they were sent here. The Iraq War veteran contacted his local congressman in New Jersey but later dropped his complaint. He nor his friend were arrested. The elderly woman just trying to ask Mercado how to get home, had her charges dropped but the internal affairs complaint was found “unsubstantiated.” Mercado admitted to hitting someone at a concert, and nothing else happened. As for the overtime abuse, Mercado and nine other officers were found to have been paid $583,544 in overtime as part of a “crime suppression” unit. The police department determined there was no theft, but did reprimand a couple of the officers’ superiors for “poor supervision.”

The investigation into the fatal tasing is ongoing for now. As I’ve noted before, maybe police departments could use some zero tolerance.

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  • TIPDOBO||

    The other involves a mysterious, substantiated violation of departmental drug testing procedures

    probably tested negative for roids.

  • sarcasmic||

    The elderly woman just trying to ask Mercado how to get home, had her charges dropped but the internal affairs complaint was found “unsubstantiated.”

    That's what happens when you ask a cop for help.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Never ever ever ever talk to the police under any circumstances.

  • thom||

    Practical advice, on an individual basis. But imagine if we could convince everybody to engage a police officer today? Public opinion might shift overnight as random people are beaten, jailed, or just treated like the unimportant civilians that cops believe them to be.

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me someone who trusts the police and I'll show you someone who has never had any interaction with them beyond a minor traffic violation.

  • Rrabbit||

    Have you seen the crazy snowbirds in Florida? Give the cop some leeway on that one; she probably bumped into him while asking him for direction.

    You can still hang him for the other incidents.

  • Lord Humungus||

    obviously more training is needed... /derp

    just woke up from a lunch nap in the ol' truck. I love Fridays when the boss is gone.

  • ||

    Can we get a cut 'n' paste of Dunphy's Greatest Evasions, Vol III?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Do you want something along the vein of "most cops don't/few bad apples" or "procedures were filed/we can police ourselves"?

  • ||

    More along the lines of the second. Totality of circs and all that. I just find it hilarious when the "good" cop goes to great lengths to defend the bad cop.

  • CE||

    So, multiple paid vacations during the multiple investigations?

  • Duke||

    ...show that Mercado arrested an old woman last year as she tried to navigate Memorial Day weekend traffic. In 2007, he punched a guy during a concert. Worst of all, he and fellow cops were accused of Tasering and beating an Iraq War veteran in 2008.

    Yeah, yeah, but did the officer return to his family safely?

  • Brett L||

    Oh noes, Trayvon Martin's Dream Defenders pack up and go home. Presumably because they finally figured out that the Governor's Office at the FL Capitol is used about 5 days a year.

    After occupying Gov. Rick Scott’s office for 31 days, the group known as Dream Defenders called it quits Thursday after lawmakers opted not to convene a special legislative session to address the group’s agenda.

  • Floridian||

    Thank the cosmos.

  • Brett L||

    One of the more prominent lawfirms with only African-American partners was footing the bill. I assume they decided after a month that they were doing more harm than good.

  • Floridian||

    Every day the people were protesting I was begging that there be no violence or confrontations. Never give an out of control fire more fuel, let it burn itself out.

  • ||

    Worst of all, he and fellow cops were accused of Tasering and beating an Iraq War veteran in 2008.

    Worst of all? The Iraq vet lived, the 18 year old vandalizer didn't.

  • sarcasmic||

    As far as I'm concerned spray-painting vandals can find sympathy in the dictionary between shit and syphilis, because they ain't getting any from me.

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's still not a death penalty level act.

  • ||

    Yes, because 18-year old dipshits doing something stupid like we all did when we were dumbass 18-year-olds deserve to die at the hands of a maniac cop. Oh wait, I'm sure you never did anything fucking stupid when you were 18. And if you did, you surely deserved to die for it, right?

  • sarcasmic||

    I didn't say he deserved it you brain-dead anarchist moron. I said he ain't getting any of my sympathy. Learn to read you fucking tool.

  • ||

    U mad, bro? Yes, it is my reading comprehension that needs work, not your callousness. Because only the brain-dead anarchist moron interpreted what you said as "fuck that kid I don't care if the cops killed him". As you can see, no one else did.

    Maybe your conversational writing skills need some work. Think about it. I know you won't, but I had to suggest it.

  • sarcasmic||

    No, I don't care. That's not the same as saying he deserved it. Do taggers deserve to die when they fall off the bridge they were vandalizing? No. Do I pity them? No.

    If someone dies in the act of destroying property, and that's what vandalism is, then I say fuck 'em.

  • ||

    You not caring is the entire point. You don't give a fuck that a murderous cop killed a kid because the kid may (oh wait, the cops said the kid they killed was a vandal? Quelle surprise!) have been doing a minor violation of property rights.

    You realize what that says about you, right? Right? Because it isn't good. In fact, it's disgusting. But keep trumpeting it to the world. You not knowing when to quit is par for the course.

  • sarcasmic||

    The kid was a well known graffiti artist vandal. It's not just from a single (no doubt embellished) police report. It was the kid's life. That's what he did. He made no secret of it. In fact he was proud of it. I have no use for people like that. No use at all. In my libertopia property owners would have the right to shoot vandals on sight.

  • Brett L||

    And if it was the property owner doing the shooting, you might have a leg to stand on.

  • ||

    The kid was a well known graffiti artist vandal. It's not just from a single (no doubt embellished) police report. It was the kid's life. That's what he did. He made no secret of it. In fact he was proud of it.

    That only makes it worse! Its one thing for the cop to be concerned that he is a gang member tagging his turf, but if he is as well known as you imply whose only crime is making shitty art on people's property, then the cop should know he isn't a danger.

  • sarcasmic||

    I ain't defending the cop or his actions. I simply have no pity for a dead vandal. I don't know why that is so difficult to understand.

  • Rock Action||

    Because it's such a minor crime to be dead for?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Graffiti killed sarcasmic's father, Epi. And it raped his mother.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Just like a snowball killed Tulpa's dreams and raped his dad?

  • Brett L||

    Please tell me a snowball is an Eskimo who acts "white".

  • ||

  • General Butt Naked||

    No it's an actual real life snowball.

    There was a thread a few years ago where a DC cop pulled his gun on some kids that hit his truck with a snowball and Tulpa thought that that was an appropriate escalation of force. It's scary that he has a carry permit.

  • SugarFree||

    Snowball thread. Even Jesse Walker jumped in to call Tulpa on his bullshit.

  • General Butt Naked||

    How do you find threads? Do you use google?

    Ever since the change over to registration, I haven't been able to find a goddamn thing on reason via either their search box or google. It's like they wanna hide the comments section from the sheep fucking public.

  • SugarFree||

    How do you find threads? Do you use google?

    Yes. It's best to throw reason.com: in front. But there are many threads, so unless you can remember some exact phrases or weird words, searching can be a slog.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Thx

    I'll try that next time.

  • ||

    To correct NutraSweet because he is an idiot, you want to type (in Google, I don't know about Bing) "site:reason.com" and then anything singular you can remember about the thread, and you will get good results.

  • sticks||

    You used to be able to use the search on reason to search comments.

  • SugarFree||

    "Snowball" is when I woman goes down on a guy until he ejaculates and then she spits it into his mouth. It is only sex act Tulpa will engage in with a human female. He says it tastes like chicken. If a chicken was made out of jizz.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Fuckin' Mallrats, I forgot about that.

  • Copernicus||

    Not "Mallrats"... "Clerks"

  • General Butt Naked||

    Close enough.

  • SugarFree||

    An unsecured router raped Tulpa's dad. Do I have to remember everything around here? Geez.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Someone linked that exchange earlier and I thought that it was so over the top that it has to be a sock, then I remembered the snowball thread.

  • Andrew S.||

    Given the meaning of "Tulpa", I've always figured he was a sockpuppet. Just not sure whose sockpuppet.

  • ||

    I cannot reiterate enough that this is why one should avoid all cops at all costs: you never know when you're going to get this guy. You couldn't ask for a more perfect example. "Excuse me officer, do you know the way to -" and then he arrests an old lady or Tasers someone.

    Even if it were true that most cops are generally ok, this guy makes it so they have to all be approached as if they were rabid dogs. Because you don't know if you're getting Andy Griffith...or a complete psycho.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Barney Fife is Back... and now he's PISSED!

  • ||

    On the upside, the complete psychos tend to self-identify by becoming cops.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    this guy makes it so they have to all be approached as if they were rabid dogs. Because you don't know if you're getting Andy Griffith...or a complete psycho.

    Both myself and my wife tell our daughter to treat ALL cops as predators and dangerous animals. Even an Andy Griffith can turn in a heartbeat into a psycho. Their entire existence is going about looking for trouble. If they see you and you are alone, out of place, etc., you are in trouble.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can tell a lot from a person's choice of footwear. If the cop has polished shoes then there's a chance that he's ex military and has a sense of honor. If he's got his pants tucked into his boots then you're about to have a really bad day.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    If the cop has polished shoes then there's a chance that he's ex military and has a sense of honor.

    From my experience with ex military cops, they fall into groups:

    1) one and out - joined at 18 to get training as a cop and the on to a civilian department. Most likely you will have issues with these.

    2) careerists - they put in their 20 and retire; then go on to civilian forces. Best cops in my experience.

    3) the rest - a mixed bag of burnouts (who don't normally become civilian cops) and those forced out. The forced out can be all over the place as to temperament if they become civilian cops.

  • ||

    2) careerists - they put in their 20 and retire; then go on to civilian forces. Best cops in my experience.

    Yup. Those guys have a real good perspective of the work they do.

  • ||

    Back when I was in, my gunny was on the verge of retirement. He did his 20 years and didn't give a shit anymore. He said he wanted to go back to Maine and become a cop on his reservation and fish all day.

    I met a grunt who was falls into the first category. He hated the long deployments but loved getting to blow shit up and scream at people.

    The third group can be worse than the first group, though. You tend to see a lot of fat-bodies and discipline-challenged assholes that get forced out and have a chip on their shoulder. They're hellbent on turning their street into Fallujah.

  • creech||

    "If the cop has polished shoes then there's a chance that he's ex military and has a sense of honor. If he's got his pants tucked into his boots then you're about to have a really bad day."

    Also trouble - the ones who wear their cap all pulled down around the rim like they are WWII combat pilots who have been wearing them on 25 missions with their headphones on.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Couple of years ago, late in decemeber, me and my mom broke down on the highway after xmas shopping. We were waiting in the car for AAA when a cop comes by. He puts out some cones and says he'll wait with us. I'm thinking that maybe this is a nice guy.

    Anyway...

    We had a bunch of liquor in the backseat for the festivities (4 cases+ worth) and he keeps eyeing it up. He then starts doing that creepy "making chitchat and totally not interrogating you but I am" cop thing. It was obvious that he wanted my mom to admit that she'd been drinking. He kept it up and she said something smart to him, and now I'm thinking that I'm about to become a Balko story. But she's an older white lady in a new BMW, so he meekly went to his car to wait instead of bothering us.

    I would have been a lot less worried if he didn't stop to "help" us.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I seem to be missing the part of this story where the cop does the slightest thing wrong/unlibertarian.

    The fact that you were worried says way more about you than it does about the cop.

  • MasterDarque||

    Just business as usual

  • RUExperienced||

    Interesting that they used HIPPA as an excuse to not release details about his drug issue. I was under the impression that taking "illicit drugs" was a criminal act, not a health issue. Of course some people are more equal than others...

  • Andrew S.||

    I'm sure I could just go into a pharmacy and ask for his records, and they'd be given to me, right?

  • Swamp Think||

    Maybe, if you show them a shiny piece of metal and your heater.

  • R C Dean||

    Info on drug tests is not covered by HIPAA. So the cops are either stupid or lying, your choice.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Info from a medical review of a drug test result is. (ie, disclosure of meds he was legally taking that would cause a positive result) Aren't you supposed to be a hospital lawyer or something?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Is the Miami New Times an actual paper that people read? I see this was in a blog entry not a column or article on their website. But still, the copper's spotty work history is at least out there for people to judge.

  • Andrew S.||

    It's an actual paper. One of those local free papers.

  • Swamp Think||

    I don't know about Miami, but the Phoenix New Times has been up Arpaio's ass forever. New Times papers do the copwatch thing much better than mainstream papers. Of course that's a low bar to jump.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's a real paper of the alternative bend.

  • Swamp Think||

    The Phoenix New Times years and years ago had a big article on the "consultants" who were going around convincing local govs that they really, really needed to build a convention center. It would pay for itself. I believe these are the same people who got to my county commission.

    This was before I discovered reason.com, but I think reason was scooped.

  • Curtisls87||

    Yes, although I'm sure DiFi doesn't agree that they're "real" journalists.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If you read the source material about the concert incident, which Mr Krayewski surprisingly fails to quote [/sarcasm], you'll see that Mercado was followed into the bathroom by a drunk guy claiming that Mercado bumped into his wife. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the punching decision in that case.

  • Inmiami||

    Something needs to change when law enforcement is no longer respected by the community they protect. When they start taking the law into their own hands and become judge jury and executioners. Needless beating are common, yet the average citizen does not have the money to fight the department in court. And for fear of what may happen nothing is ever done. Take a survey and see how many innocent lives have been touch by lawless cops.

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