Protesters upset with teen's death in police custody march in Durham

Angry protesters took to the streets of downtown Durham to protest a teen's death in police custody.
November 23, 2013 10:54:55 AM PST
Protesters angry over the death of 17-year-old Jesus Huerta shattered several windows at Durham Police Headquarters Friday night.

As many as 300 people stormed the perimeter of the building.

"They're not willing to give us the truth, so we came demanding answers, and we want them to tell the truth, we came in solidarity with the family and it just turned into a whole fiasco," said a protestor who identified himself as Raphael.

Aside from the building windows, it appeared someone threw a hammer through at least one squad car's window.

As protesters marched, they were shouting expletives saying they wanted justice for "Chuy," which was Huerta's nickname. The teen died in police custody early Tuesday morning.

"We just came in peace to do a justice march for my brother," said his sister Evelin.

Officers arrested 19-year-old Shahqeel Alexander McCrimmon, of Durham and charged him with failure to disperse on command, holding a meeting/demonstration while wearing a mask or hood and causing a public disturbance. He was released from jail after posting a $1,500 bond.

A 14-year-old male was also charged with injury to property and released to the custody of his parents.

The march came the same day Police Chief Jose Lopez issued a statement defending his decision to release few details about Huerta's death.

Lopez asked for patience and said releasing more information could compromise the investigation.

Police arrested the teen for trespassing and had arrived at the police station when sources tell ABC11 that he shot himself in the back of a police cruiser. Police policies call for prisoners to be searched to ensure prisoners don't have weapons.

The SBI is investigating right now.

Earlier Friday, Lopez sounded frustrated when ABC11 asked him why he hasn't released more information.

"It's going to take a while. It's not done overnight," said Lopez. "It gets a little frustrating when you continue to hear it from people who already know that when they ask you, 'So, where's the investigation,' that you can't answer to it."

The results of an autopsy to determine exactly how Huerta was wounded have not yet been released.

In addition to the incident with the teen, there have been two officer-involved shootings in four months.

As a result of Friday's protest, participants tell ABC11 unofficially that seven people were taken into custody.

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