Jesus Huerta

Jose Lopez, Durham Police Department
Durham Police Department

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez will retire at the end of 2015, the city announced Tuesday. The department has come under fire in recent years, especially after 17-year-old Latino Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound while in police custody in 2013.

"The last two years have been difficult for law enforcement, but together we have weathered it in a manner in which we can all be proud," Lopez wrote in a letter to his department.

Durham City Council hears recommendations from City Manager on how to improve police and community relations (photo of city council).
Jorge Valencia

  The Durham Police Department has been accused of racial profiling, which led the Human Relations Commission to recommend changes in policy and procedure in May.

Durham County Courthouse
North Carolina Court System

The Durham district attorney says he will not criminally charge a police officer who fatally shot a knife-wielding stabbing suspect last year.

District Attorney Leon Stanback said on Thursday that his office found no probable cause for criminal charges in the death of Jose Adan Cruz Ocampo after reviewing records that included a medical autopsy and police car videos and interviewing officers, witnesses and first responders.

Police Training

In the early morning hours of November 19, Durham  youth Jesus Huerta left home. His family called 911, reported him as a troubled runaway and noted his drug problem. A Durham police officer located Huerta, frisked him, cuffed him, and put him in the back of a cruiser. Moments later, the 17 year-old was dead from a gunshot to the head. His family questions the circumstances surrounding his death.

Friends and relatives posted pictures like these of Jesus Huerta around Durham, NC
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:

Friends and relatives posted pictures like these of Jesus Huerta around Durham, NC
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.

Durham Police
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.