Days after a Durham teen died while in police custody, his family led a protest Friday night through the streets, carrying signs that said “Durham needs a new police chief.”
The sister of Jesus Huerta, 17, who died in the back of a police cruiser Tuesday morning, was among the organizers of Friday’s march.
“The silence from Police Chief Lopez was an insult," organizers wrote on the Facebook page marking the event.
According to Durham police, some of those demonstrating late Friday broke windows at the station’s headquarters in downtown Durham. No injuries were reported.
Police have not said how Huerta died, but his family members say investigators told them he had a gunshot to the head.
On Friday, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez issued a statement without saying much, fanning the aggravation the family feels, Evelin Huerta said.
“At this point in time, the words he is using to try to make us feel better doesn’t really matter," she said. "All we need is clarity.”
Officer Samuel Duncan was transporting Huerta, to police headquarters on West Chapel Hill Street. In radio communication, Duncan described heading “shots fired.” He jumped from the moving car, and the patrol car rolled into a van and came to rest with Huerta in the back seat.
According to a recording of police radio traffic made public Monday, Jesus was considered a runaway when he walked out of his mother’s apartment an hour earlier. The teen was found roughly two blocks away from his home.
What the audio doesn’t say is why why police decided to arrest Huerta and charge him with second-degree trespassing instead of taking him home.
This is sad yet indeed, the investigation is ongoing. Vandalizing the police station was Un called for. These individuals still protect the public. Don’t let 1 bad Apple spoil the bunch. If you are going to have a March make it peaceful. The kid was charged with trespassing, and obviously had a gun on him meaning he probably wasn’t searched before being detained or placed in car. Hopefully the family will get answers soon