Family of Durham teen who died in police custody wants investigation
by WNCN Staff
The Huerta family delivered a petition to the local FBI office in Cary demanding an investigation into their son and brother's death.
DURHAM, N.C. -
The family of a Durham teenager who died while in police custody plans to deliver a petition with 18,000 signatures to the local FBI office to demand an investigation.
Jesus Huerta died in the back of a police cruiser in November after being picked up on an outstanding warrant for trespassing.
Huerta's mother and three siblings delivered the petition to the FBI Resident Agency in Cary Tuesday at 11 a.m.
The family is asking the Department of Justice to investigate the Durham Police Department for "patterns and practices" of civil rights violations, including the circumstances leading to Jesus Huerta's death
"We want answers about how my brother died," said Evelin Huerta in a written release. "But that can't be taken out of the context of a police department with a history of discriminating against black and Latino people. Durham Police Department has a problem, and it will take the Department of Justice to make sure no one else loses a son and a brother like my family did."
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said the department will respect the family's request and is "cooperating fully with the current independent investigation."
"We will do likewise if there is a federal investigation," Lopez said. "We have been as forthcoming as we possibly can with respect to information that can be released to the public and we will continue to do so."