Durham PD Chief Lopez to address Thursday night violence | News

Durham PD Chief Lopez to address Thursday night violence

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Durham Police and protesters clashed downtown Thursday night - JUSTIN COOK
  • Justin Cook
  • Durham Police and protesters clashed downtown Thursday night

After Durham Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of 200 protesters downtown Thursday night, Chief Jose Lopez is scheduled to address the public today at 10:30 a.m.

The demonstration was the second in a month to demand information about the death of 17-year-old Jesus Huerta, who allegedly shot himself in the back of a police car while handcuffed last month.

This is what INDY photographer Justin Cook witnessed:

"I was down by the old judicial building on Main.My first frame is at 8:46. I could smell the [tear] gas down the street. I ran toward Mangum, could barely breathe, cut through a parking garage and ended up by the office on Corcoran. 

I saw people laughing and yelling "Shelter in place"

Saw a cop whose gas mask failed. He was yelling for EMS.

Other people were huddled in buildings trying to escape the gas.

One guy walked up to me and was commenting on how ridiculous the situation was. He had just landed in the Triangle on a plane from NYC. I asked him if he was aware of the vandalism at DPD HQ during the last march. He wasn't. We parted ways and he said "this is… interesting" with a pretty shocked look on his face."

An altar in honor of Huerta behind Durham Police headquarters - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • An altar in honor of Huerta behind Durham Police headquarters


City Council discussed DPD's lack of transparency and community mistrust about the Huerta case, and three other officer-involved shootings, at Monday night's Council meeting, at which Lopez presented third-quarter crime statistics showing homicides are up over 2012. There have been 32 murders in Durham this year, the highest number since 2005, when 35 were reported. The number of aggravated assaults is down, which accounts for the overall 8 percent drop in violence crime.

Several people were arrested at Thursday night's protest, although the list of charges has not been released.

Check back for more details later today.


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