Durham Police Department

The State of Things
12:08 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Did Durham Police Follow Protocol When Arresting 17-Year-Old Jesus Huerta?

Friends and relatives posted pictures like these of Jesus Huerta around Durham, NC after he died
Credit Leoneda Inge

  

Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound while in police custody last November. Did officers know he was at risk of killing himself? The teen's family says yes.

Durham authorities have said the officer on the scene, Samuel Duncan, had not been told the 17-year-old threatened to kill himself and used drugs before the officer picked him up the morning of Nov. 19.

But the attorney representing Huerta’s family questions that and points to this radio communication in which officers talk about Huerta having a history of drug abuse:

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Law
3:43 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Durham Police: Officer Frisked But Did Not Find Gun Jesus Huerta Used To Shoot Himself

Friends and relatives posted pictures like these of Jesus Huerta around Durham, NC
Credit Leoneda Inge

A teenager who Durham police say fatally shot himself while in custody last year used a .45 caliber pistol that he had concealed and an officer did not discover while frisking and arresting him, police said Friday.

Officers had picked up 17-year-old Jesus Huerta the morning of Nov. 19 because his family reported him as a runaway, police said, but emergency dispatchers did not relay warnings from the family that Huerta had threatened to kill himself.

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Durham Mayor Pushes Report In Jesus Huerta Death

Durham Mayor is pressing for answers in the death of Jesus Huerta.
Credit Durham Police Department

The mayor of Durham is putting the pressure on law enforcement officials to release the findings of an internal investigation into the death of a teenager while in police custody.

It’s been six weeks since 17-year-old Jesus Huerta died in the backseat of a police car, while handcuffed. Police say he shot himself in the head.

“It’s been out there too long and that is unacceptable for me," said Bell from his office Monday.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell says it’s time to know the details leading to the mysterious shooting of Huerta.

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Law
10:05 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Appeals Court To Review Durham Police Taser Case

The North Carolina Supreme Court ordered the state Court of Appeals to review a 2009 case involving a man who was injured after a police officer used a Taser on him.
Credit City of Durham

The state Court of Appeals will reexamine a lawsuit filed by a man who was severely injured after a Taser was used on him by a Durham Police Officer.

Bryan DeBaun suffered facial injuries and broken bones from the 2009 incident, claiming that officer Daniel J. Kuszaj's "use of excessive force" and "malicious prosecution" violated his rights under the North Carolina constitution. He is suing both the police officer and city of Durham.

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Teen Death
6:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Evelin Huerta: 'My Brother's Death Is Still A Mystery'

Durham Police in riot gear used tear gas to break up a rowdy crowd protesting the death of a local teen last night.
Laura Lee

Updated Saturday, 10/21/13 11:00 a.m.:

A vigil for a Durham 17-year-old who died in police custody turned violent on Thursday night when ranks of police officers dressed in riot gear clashed with a group of protesters.

Differing accounts of the encounter circled almost immediately after the crowd of more than 100 was dispersed from the edge of the Durham Police Department’s headquarters parking lot on South Duke Street.

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Law
7:19 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Durham Chief: Handcuffed Teen Shoots, Kills Himself In Police Car

Credit City of Durham

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said it might be hard for people not in law enforcement to believe how a 17-year-old boy died while in police custody.

The chief said at a news conference Wednesday that Jesus Huerta shot and killed himself while handcuffed in the back of a police car.  He had been detained by Officer Samuel Duncan after police received a report on a runaway.

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The State of Things
11:53 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Durham Youth Death Sparks Protests

Credit City of Durham

    

Seventeen year-old Jesus Huerta died of a gunshot wound in the back of a Durham police car last month. His death sparked protests outside of Durham Police Department Headquarters.

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Law
5:50 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Durham Police Put 'Bull's Eye' On High-Crime Neighborhood

Map of the target area for the Durham Police Department's "Operation Bull's Eye" initiative
Credit Durham Police Department

Durham police officers are crediting an initiative started six years ago for reducing crime in one of the city's most violent neighborhoods. 

"Operation Bull's Eye" targeted a two-square-mile area with high rates of crime and "shots fired" calls.  Officers used enforcement and community-building programs to bring shooting incidents down by more than half and overall violent crime down by nearly 40 percent. 

Durham's deputy chief Larry Smith says the lower numbers can't be attributed to enforcement alone.  

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