To Walk Out of the Church of Reconciliation: Reflections on Durham’s Third Anti-Police March, the Peculiar Alchemy of Skateboards and Flagpoles, and the Struggle as it Has Developed
From Anarchist News
by several anonymous participants
On the evening of Sunday, January 19th, the two-month anniversary of Chuy Huerta’s death, a crowd of around 150 gathered to express their grief, anger, and rage at the Durham Police Department. Like the previous two marches, the event was a kaleidoscope of faces, emotions, and desires. The sounds of skateboards on pavement mingled with the shouts of “Chuy Huerta, Presente!” Small paper signs were raised amongst massive black banners. The smell of road flares mixed with the sound of broken glass and hip hop blasting from a sound system built into an old shopping cart. After an hour or so of marching, the streets of Durham were littered with discarded black clothing as the crowd dispersed before a wall of riot police.
On November 19th, 2013, Jesus “Chuy” Huerta was picked up by officer Samuel Duncan of the Durham Police Department after his family called the department looking for him. Instead of taking Chuy home as requested, the officer took him to headquarters for a minor trespassing warrant. Less than an hour later, Chuy was shot dead in the back of the patrol car. Reports both by DPD and the State Bureau of Investigation have ruled it a suicide, stating that Chuy had a gun that was not found during a search, and subsequently shot himself in the mouth with his hands cuffed behind his back. In the dramatic months following both Chuy’s death and the resulting street conflicts, the DPD has sought to corroborate this story by smearing Chuy as suicidal, drug-addicted, and involved in petty crime. This media tactic of criminalizing Chuy’s memory aims at de-valuing his life and obscuring the fact that had he been brought home rather than held in police custody, he would still be alive today. (more…)