Tag Archive: Durham Police Department

Durham Police Department “Intelligence” Report

durham-police-department-profileDear “Intelligence” officers at the Durham Police Department,

We can see by your intelligence report that you’re curious and confused about the nature of this blog in particular, blogs in general, and possibly the entire Internet.

This is the Prison Books Collective Blog.

We link to lots of articles and announcements that we find relevant about prisons, policing and your criminal justice system, both locally and beyond.

You may notice we are not many things to which we link or events that we announce.

For instance we aren’t the Catholic Workers, Trianarchy, News and Observer, WRAL, Truth Out, Peter Gelderloos, Playboy, Denver Anarchist Black Cross, SubmediaTV, NPR, Amplify Voices, ThinkProgress, Anarchist News or Aljazeera; in fact the things that we are not go on and on and on.

We also aren’t your scapegoat. But nice try.

until every cage is empty,

the Prison Books Collective bloggers

Durham Police Internal Review Is a Pathetic Joke

Durham police officers accused of “not properly disposing weapons”

salute

From News and Observer

— An undisclosed number of Durham police officers have been disciplined after an internal affairs investigation found they had “retained” parts of firearms that were supposed to have been destroyed.

City Manager Tom Bonfield said the investigation was “completed a few weeks ago” but withheld further comment until he could talk with attorneys about what state personnel privacy laws let him make public.

Police Chief Jose L. Lopez also declined to comment.

“I can’t speak to that,” Lopez said.

Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael provided a formal statement Wednesday afternoon: (more…)

A Tale of Three Marches and Two Durhams

jesusFrom Progresivo

The author of this piece wishes to remain anonymous. 

On November 19th, 17-year-old Chuy Huerta died while in police custody under circumstances unbelievable and unacceptable. After his family called the police concerned for his safety, he ended up shot in the front of his head while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. The Durham Police Department used the press to ask for understanding and forgiveness while they extended none to this child or to his family that night or after. Hundreds of people in Durham took to the streets not once but three times to support the Huerta family and to protest against the Durham Police Department; some demonstrators opposed not just its conduct, but its very existence.

Some, who feel safe in their status and homes, marveled from behind their computer screens that anyone would challenge this militarized force that harasses and polices some neighborhoods and individuals, but not others.  When the police released tear gas on a march and vigil, these political voyeurs insisted there must be a less disruptive way for a family and community to mourn and protest and that the family’s grief was being exploited by outside agitators. Several organizations, employing the language of nonviolence, reconciliation and peace, sponsored a vigil at the family’s church as a safe space for people deterred by chanting and tear gas. Like the press, they now want to ignore the moment when Evelin Huerta and supporters walked out of the service because the chief of police violated the sanctity of the family’s grief by joining in lighting candles in memoriam. Having given the orders that interrupted their candlelight prayer vigil at the police station a month earlier, he did not even have the common decency to stay home and allow the family to pray in peace – this time in their own church, but rather claimed it as another public relations opportunity for himself.  Who in this case is exploiting and not listening to the Huerta family?  Who in their right mind thought a space that included the head of the Durham Police Department was a safe space for people mourning Chuy Huerta? And how can those who insist that the DPD must be included in a community’s grief, a grief caused by the DPD’s actions, proclaim that anyone else is an outside agitator? (more…)

NCCU Student Stripped and Falsely Jailed

frameup1By Lamont Lilly
Durham, NC

  It was late evening July 15th, 2013 when 19 year old North Carolina Central University sophomore, Lewis James Little was finally released after a month of incarceration for a murder he did not commit.  Several charges against Little including first degree burglary, first degree kidnapping, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and felony conspiracy have all since been formally dismissed as an honest mistake.  Lewis Little however, has been left to pick up the pieces of an experience truly worthy of a Lifetime Hardship Award.

 On the evening of June 20th, 2013 Lewis Little and five of his friends left The Mews apartment complex to meet up and socialize with additional acquaintances at 414 Melbourne Street in northeast Durham.  As they arrived by car, they spotted a body of an adult male lying in the street.  After departing from their car, they approached the body “to find out why someone would just be laying in the street like that.”  Little and his friends were careful to observe without touching or disturbing what appeared to be a potential crime scene.  After prompting the man to get up several times and inquiring about his safety without a response, Lewis Little called Durham police.  The man on the ground was 25 year old Michael Lee, who was obviously in critical condition as he laid there wheezing his last few breaths.  Worried and confused, Little and his friends stood beside Lee, as a small crowd of community members began to gather.  

frameup2When Durham police finally arrived, they attempted to gather information on what exactly had transpired.  Lewis Little, his friends and several others were questioned about what they may have seen or heard.  Shortly after, Lewis Little found himself singled out by Durham police officer, K. Hempstead and questioned more abrasively.  Without explanation, Little was then informed that he was being detained for further questioning at the Durham Police Department’s 505 West Chapel Hill Street headquarter location.  Officer K. Hempstead locked Little in handcuffs and placed him in the back seat of his police squad car. Little was taken to a Durham Police Department interrogation room and read his rights.  Though investigators attempted to intimidate Little as they interrogated him, Lewis Little vehemently declared his innocence.

 After hours of tedious questions and waiting in the interrogation room, Lewis Little was ordered to “strip down” and remove all articles of clothing in front of male and female officers.  His keys, clothing, cell phone, shoes and watch were all confiscated. Little was outfitted in an oversized white paper jumpsuit.  Investigators took fingerprints and DNA samples.  Lewis Little sat there handcuffed to a steel chair until daylight the next morning.  After the department’s morning shift change, he was taken to the Durham County Jail where news cameras and reporters were waiting to catch a glimpse of his face.

(more…)

Benefit Concert for the Family of Chuy Huerta w/ Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba and Posifaction

chuypresenteFriday, January 24th

8:30pm @ The Pinhook

117 W Main St in Durham

Come join us for a benefit concert/ dance party with Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba and Posifaction. All proceeds from the show will go directly to the family of Jesus “Chuy” Huerta.
This will be an All-Ages show.
Suggested donation $7-$20 at the door.
No one turned away for lack of funds.

More about Chuy:
In the early morning hours of November 19, 2013, Jesús “Chuy” Huerta was picked up by Durham police a few blocks away from home. His family had called police to ask for help locating him, as he had left home and his mother was worried about him. Instead of taking Chuy home when they found him, police arrested him on a months-old second-degree trespassing charge and took him to police headquarters. In the DPD parking lot, in the squad car, somehow a gunshot was fired and Chuy died.

The Durham Police Department’s internal affairs report has raised more questions than answers about what exactly happened that night (morning). Chief Lopez repeatedly refuses to accept any responsibility for what happened on November 19th, choosing instead to deflect blame and attempt to criminalize Chuy in death. As the Huerta family continues to demand answers and justice, members of the Durham community have supported them in many ways, including at public marches and vigils. (more…)

Durham, NC: The Strangest Prayer Vigil We’ve Ever Seen

banner!  From Anarchist News

Thursday night, December 19th, marked the one-month anniversary of 17-year old Jesus “Chuy” Huerta’s death and the second demonstration in an ongoing and escalating battle with the Durham, NC police department. Catalyzed though certainly not contained by the mysterious death of Chuy while in police custody on November 19th, around 200 family members, friends, neighbors, and fed-up local residents converged at CCB plaza again to grieve and express their rage. Despite the fact that officers report they frisked Chuy before placing him in the vehicle and despite the fact that his hands were handcuffed behind his back, Chief of Police Lopez is still claiming that Chuy shot himself in the head while in the back of the squad car at Police Headquarters. (more…)

Justice for Chuy means Justice for Everyone / Justicia para Chuy significa justicia para todos

acabnewerFrom Amplify Voices

A statement by Inside-Outside Alliance / Dec. 2013

(Español está por debajo. Downloadable pdfs to come.)

insideoutsidealliance@gmail.com   /   www.amplifyvoices.com

In the early morning hours of November 19, 2013, 17-year-old Jesus ‘Chuy’ Huerta died in the back of a police car in the parking lot of the Durham Police Department (DPD) headquarters. His sister had called 911 at their mother’s request, after the teen had left home in the middle of the night. Officer Samuel Duncan picked Chuy up a few blocks from home. Instead of taking him home to his mother, Duncan took Chuy to headquarters to pick up a months-old arrest warrant for second-degree trespassing. The next stop for Chuy would have been jail. But, in the DPD parking lot, somehow a gunshot was fired, the police car Duncan had been driving crashed into a parked van, and Chuy died.

Chief José Lopez has tried to shift the blame away from his department, saying Chuy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Lopez claims Chuy was handcuffed behind his back and the gun was not issued by the DPD, though he also says Duncan searched Chuy before arresting him. While this story reeks of bullshit and there remain many, many questions to which Chuy’s family deserves answers (at the least), what we must remember and what bears frequent repeating is this:

The Durham Police Department is responsible for Chuy Huerta’s death.

The Durham Police Department is responsible for Chuy Huerta’s death.

The Durham Police Department is responsible for Chuy Huerta’s death.

Police in crisis: a timeline (more…)

Obvious Bullshit Lies From Chief Lopez Regarding The Murder Of Jesús Huerta

DURHAM —Jesus Huerta, the Riverside High School student who died Nov. 19 in the back of a Durham police officer’s patrol car, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Police Chief Jose Lopez Sr.

“Whether that wound was accidental or intentional is unknown at this time,” Lopez told reporters during a news conference Wednesday at police headquarters.

He said that the state medical examiner’s office confirmed the cause of death. However, state officials told The Herald-Sun that although an autopsy was completed weeks ago, no report had been released nor was it available Wednesday.

It remains unclear exactly how Huerta – who Lopez said was searched and cuffed behind the back by Officer Samuel Duncan before he was put into the patrol car – managed to get a gun into the car with him, let alone pull the trigger. (more…)

The Final Straw: Luke O’Donovan; Police Murders from coast to coast

acabnewerFrom The Final Straw

This week’s episode features three, that’s right, three whopping conversations. Firstly, we hear from Luke O’Donovan about his case. Luke is an Anarchist in the Atlanta area who defended himself against a queer bashing last New Years at a party. Luke suffered multiple wounds inflicted by knives as well as beating which sent him to the hospital. He’s facing 5 charges of aggrivated assault with a deadly weapon for injuring the people attacking him, who’d earlier called him a faggot repeatedly. Each of those 5 charges could carry a twenty year sentence.

After that, we’ll hear from Rafi, an organizer in Durham North Carolina, about the spate of police murders of young men of color in that city. Particularly we’ll talk about the case of Jesus Chuy Huerta, a 17 year old latino man shot in the back of a patrol car while handcuffed that the police are claiming was self-inflicted.

Finally, we’ll hear from Jess who’s been organizing alongside youth in Santa Rosa, california since the shooting death by Sheriff’s there of 13 year old Andy Lopez for having a toy gun. The fatal shooting of Andy Lopez fell on October 22nd of this year. For those who don’t know, October 22nd is a day when many people in the United States remember those killed and imprisoned by police and protest against police violence. (more…)