Once again a young man does the impossible. He allegedly committed suicide while in police custody with his hands hand cuffed behind his back. It seems as if it is becoming increasingly impossible for a young man to survive a police encounter these days.
Another Durham, NC resident died in a controversial encounter with the Durham Police Department. This time it was teenager and local Riverside High School student, Jesus Huerta.
Personally, I don’t believe one word of what the Durham Police Department says. It seems to me, and many others throughout North Carolina, that Durham police officers are simply covering their tracks with a ficticious story that makes no physical or logical sense whatsoever.
The official response from the Durham police chief, Jose Lopez, is that 17-year-old Jesus Huerta died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound when he was placed under arrest in the back seat of a police squad car. After Durham police Officer Samuel Duncan arrested Huerta. Reports state that Officer Duncan heard a loud noise from the vehicle’s rear seat and jumped out of his moving patrol cruiser. Duncan’s squad car then slammed into a parked van. Huerta was mysteriously and illogically shot and killed in the process. This incident occurred right outside of the Durham Police Department's parking lot.
It is obvious that the police had something to do with this young man's untimely demise.
The fact that the first thing Durham police chose to do was highlight Huerta’s past juvenile offenses is quite disturbing but it is typical in these cases to blame the victim by highlighting their pasts. Trespassing and misdemeanor possession of cannabis were not the causes of Jesus Huerta’s death. The lack of accountability on the part of the Durham Police Department is not only disrespectful, but it is also a sign of a morally backtupt Police department.
Since the Durham Police Department has made it a habit of making their victims records available, it is only fair to examine theirs.
Unfortunately, Jesus Huerta became the third Durham resident killed by Durham police or while in their custody over the last five months. Thirty-three-year-old Jose Ocampo was killed July27, shot four times in the chest for possessing a knife. Twenty-six-year-old Derek Deandre Walker was executed Sept. 17 by a Durham police sniper for publicly threatening to commit suicide.
I am far mar concerned with this deadly record, than I am with juvenile offenses that have nothing to do with this case.
Jesus Huerta deserves more than insincere apologies from city officials. Phony condolences serve absolutely no purpose. Huerta’s family deserves justice. They deserve to know the truth.