Tag Archive: Police Chief Lopez

Durham cops lied about 911 calls

public enemyFrom The Indy

Several Durham police officers lied about non-existent 911 calls to try to convince residents to allow them to search their homes, a tactic several lawyers say is illegal. The officers targeted residences where individuals with outstanding warrants were thought to be living, and told them that dispatch had received a 911 call from that address, when no such call had been made.

However, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez says the 911 tactic was never a part of official policy. Last month, the department officially banned the practice, according to a memo from Lopez.

The tactic came to light at a court hearing on May 27, when a Durham Police officer testified it was part of official departmental policy. The hearing involved a defendant who had been charged with marijuana possession. (The INDY is not naming the defendant because the charges against her were dropped.)

In February, Officer A.B. Beck knocked on the door of the defendant’s home in South-Central Durham. When the defendant answered the door, Beck told her—falsely—that someone in her home had called 911 and hung up, and that he wanted to make sure everyone was safe. The defendant permitted Beck to enter her home, where he discovered two marijuana blunts and a marijuana grinder. (more…)

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…)

Shocking police overreach haunts Durham: Racial profiling, quotas and secret “conviction bonuses”

handcuffed-620x412How a federal grant incentivized a police department to go nuts on drug arrests — and terrorize its community

From Salon

In the late afternoon of Jan. 3, Robin Dean, a 50-year-old county employee, pulled into a Durham, N.C., Burger King parking lot to give a friend a package of frozen chitlins that she had cooked over the holidays. After the transfer was complete, the pair said goodbye and parted ways. Both were subsequently pulled over by Durham Police.

Dean says an officer told her that there was evidence that she had just engaged in an illegal drug transaction, searched her car without her consent, and called for backup. When Dean worried aloud that she had been racially profiled, she says the white officer called her an “idiot,” although the nearly hour-long stop revealed nothing illegal apart from a window-tinting violation that was later dismissed.

In recent years, stories like this have come to epitomize heightened concerns that, as Durham becomes a regional center for sophisticated culture and cuisine, the drug enforcement strategies of its police increasingly assign second-class status to the city’s minority communities. Over the past several months, protesters alleging police misconduct have pummeled the city’s police headquarters with rocks and met tear gas along the usually amiable streets of this city of 240,000.

In seeking to understand the roots of the city’s divisive policing, lawyers at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice were astonished by what a recent round of public records requests produced. Not only was a federal grant subsidizing what they regarded as the most perniciously targeted drug enforcement operations of the department, but the grant — with a key “performance measure” emphasizing police report their sheer volume of arrests — also appeared to be incentivizing the department to raise its overall number of drug arrests, which overwhelmingly affect the city’s black community. SCSJ attorneys add that recently revealed evidence also indicates that the federally funded program included an illegal system of secret payments law enforcement made to witnesses who delivered successful drug prosecutions — another sign, they say, that the city’s policing has flown off the rails. (more…)

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

marchjan19thFrom 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.

Some Background

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…)

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…)

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…)

Anarchists Express Grief over Huerta’s Death, Gratitude for Protesters’ Courage

protestFrom Carrboro Anarchist Bookfair

A Statement from Organizers of the Carrboro Anarchist Book Fair

Organizers of the Carrboro Anarchist Book Fair express our grief over the death of Jesus Huerta and our admiration of all who took action in Durham last Friday to confront the police in whose hands he died.

Early on Tuesday, November 19, 17-year-old Jesus Huerta, known to his friends as Chuy, was killed while handcuffed in the back of a police car in Durham, North Carolina. He died of a gunshot wound. The Durham police have refused to offer any further details, but Chuy appears to be the third person they have killed in four months.

Chuy’s death is an irreparable tragedy. No investigation or justification can rectify this loss, nor break the systemic pattern of racist harassment and repression of which it is a single example. In a just society, the Durham police would submit themselves to the judgment of his family, rather than presuming to judge guilt and innocence themselves. Instead, in the initial coverage, police and corporate media reported previous misdemeanor charges against Chuy in an attempt to discredit him, even though all of those charges had long been dismissed. (more…)

March Against the Police: This Friday the 22nd at 7pm

antipoliceMarch Against the Police: This Friday the 22nd at 7pm at the Bull in Durham
Come out for justice for Jesus Huerta—and against the racist police!

As many of you already know, on Tuesday morning Jesús Huerta died while in custody of the Durham Police Department; he was 17 years old. We are planning a march from CCB plaza to the Police HQ. Please spread the word and let’s try to get as many people as possible to protest this murderous system!

 
WE NEED ANSWERS NOW!
The silence from Police Chief Lopez was an insult! 

– The police are racist

– They harass and kill us on the streets

– They attack the poor

– They jail and deport our families

– They treat us like animals

– Police and prisons do not exist to keep us safe.

Jesús’ death is another example of how police do not exist to keep us safe!
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