Vigil for teen who died in police custody turns violent
Protesters allege foul play in the death of Jesus Huerta, 17, who died of a gunshot wound while in police custody.
December 20th, 2013
01:26 PM ET

Vigil for teen who died in police custody turns violent

A vigil for a teen who died in police custody turned violent in Durham, North Carolina, with riot police using tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd.

At least six people were arrested at the Thursday night march to protest the death of 17-year-old Jesus Huerta, according to police.

"I could not be more proud of the restraint and professionalism demonstrated by our officers," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said in a statement to the media, adding that injuries to those marching were minimized because of his officers' actions.

"There was a march. The peaceful intent did not exist. We used the best practices in law enforcement," he said at a news conference Friday.

Protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers and vandalized police property, Lopez said, defending his officers' reaction to the vigil.

The Durham Police Department says Huerta died on November 19 from a self-inflicted gunshot while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. The teen was being taken to the police station by Officer Samuel Duncan about 3 a.m. for a second-degree trespassing violation.

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Filed under: North Carolina • Protest • Race • U.S.
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. sixthromeo

    "A second degree trespassing violation," sounds like nothing more than a ticketable offense. What was he doing in custody? Sounds like a fatal error on a police department much too much full of its own self pride.

    December 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    "died on November 19 from a self-inflicted gunshot while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser" I'm curious how does one get a self inflicted gun shot wound while handcuffed? I'm also curious as to why he wasn't being transported to a hospital if it didn't occur within the patrol car?

    December 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    @ Brian, im with you. This whole thing stinks to high heaven and smells of nothing but lie after lie!

    December 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    This whole case stinks. This is the third such shooting in the last few months there; what in Earth is happening in Durham?

    December 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Yawn.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Well, Stuart, I am not jacking Rupert, but it appears that he's doing it anyway. Such is the little mind of the little man.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    But then, Rupert did cave in his skull in a fall from a ladder at Walmart, so I guess I should cut him a little slack.

    December 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    So...?

    December 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rupert

    My skull is fine but I only have 2 teeth left that look like tusks. I am horrible.

    December 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You fell on your face when you fell off the ladder? I'm sorry.

      December 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    I told u he hit his head. He was to cranky last nite.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rupert

    He didnt even make it to 18. Rotten police.

    December 21, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. stuart

    This calls for a $5 million law suit. Hey. Where is the aclu? They usually help. Not here I guess.

    December 21, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. BOMBO

    Re the picture.

    SARCASM ALERT. Aww. The poor little kid. With his birthday cake. He doesn't look like a 17 year old gang thug. Because he doesn't look 17.

    So whenever one of these guys get shot at 17, does the "equal rights" movement intentionally circulate pictures of him as a 12 year old, or has the guy's loving family just not bothered taking pictures of him for the past 5 years?

    December 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. grammy

    The normal procedure when a person is taken into custody is that they are frisked before being placed into the back of the car. So if they had frisked him, they would have found the gun. What is wrong with this picture ? Either they failed to do their job or this is one smelly coverup.

    December 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I expected to see more interest in this news item.
    Could it be that Jesus Huerta was not of the proper ethnicity to elicit outrage?

    December 22, 2013 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      It did, Hagen. There are other news outlets.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
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