5 Things to Know in Florida for July 24


Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.

No charges against Miami Beach officer in 2013 Taser death

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.

Florida Supreme Court delays execution again, orders hearing

The Florida Supreme Court is refusing to let the state move ahead with the execution of a man who killed his ex-wife, daughter and others. The court on Thursday instead ordered a central Florida court to hold a hearing on convicted killer Jerry Correll’s challenge against the use of a lethal injection drug. Correll was convicted of a 1985 quadruple murder in Orlando. The state court halted Correll’s execution last February after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review the use of midazolam. Midazolam is a sedative that has been used in several problematic executions.

Officers punished for detainment of NFL player Nate Allen

Officials say four southwest Florida police officers have been punished for the wrongful detainment of Oakland Raiders safety Nate Allen. Fort Myers police Chief Doug Baker said Thursday the arrest was isolated and not deliberate. Allen, who lives in southwest Florida in the offseason, spent several hours in a holding cell in February after a 16-year-old girl said he performed a lewd act at a traffic light. Allen denied the accusation, saying he was on a cellphone call from the time he left a nearby restaurant until he was stopped. No charges were filed, and Allen was eventually released.

Former Miami-Dade police director found dead

The Miami-Dade Police Department announced the death of its former director Robert Parker. He was 62. Parker was found dead at his home in northwest Miami-Dade County on Wednesday night. The department did not release a cause of death and said an investigation is “in its preliminary stages.” Parker joined the force in 1976. He worked his way through the ranks, becoming the first African-American in the agency’s top job in 2004. Along the way he served as assistant director of police services and spent time in the Special Investigations Unit. He also was a major and commander in charge of economic crimes.

Missile malfunction causes minor damage to Navy destroyer

A Navy destroyer sustained minor damage after a missile exploded during an exercise off the coast of Virginia. The Navy says the Mayport, Florida-based USS The Sullivans fired a test missile during training on Saturday that malfunctioned as it was fired. The type of missile fired was a surface-to-air air defense weapon. The Navy says there were no injuries and that damage was limited to the port side of the ship from missile debris. The ship diverted to Naval Station Norfolk for assessment. An investigation into the malfunction has been ordered.

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