DURHAM: Mayor Bill B pushes for answers in death of Jesus Huerta - WNCT

Durham mayor pushes for answers in death of Jesus Huerta

Posted: Updated:
Durham Mayor Bill Bell received an email on behalf of the chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights asking to set up a meeting about the death of Jesus Huerta. Durham Mayor Bill Bell received an email on behalf of the chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights asking to set up a meeting about the death of Jesus Huerta.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Frustration over a teen who died while in Durham Police custody has quickly spread, and now the federal Civil Rights Commission could get involved.

Last week, Durham Mayor Bill Bell received an email on behalf of the chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights asking to set up a meeting about the death of Jesus Huerta.

Durham Police say Huerta shot himself while handcuffed in a patrol car after being picked up Nov. 19 on an outstanding second-degree trespassing charge.

"I'm open to having this conversation," Bell said Monday. "Whether it needs to happen, I can't speak on that, that's too general a question."

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said the chairman was acting in his own personal capacity when he sent the Bell the email and not on behalf of the commission as a whole. The commission the issue has not been broached and it's that group that has to vote to start any inquiries or investigations.

Bell said a meeting with the chairman has not been scheduled and his proposed trip to Durham was postponed.

Bell said information about the Huerta case could be available next week. Still, the email is just the latest demand for answers in the death of Huerta.

Two rallies have been held for the teen, one of which was broken up by police in full riot gear using tear gas outside police headquarters. This has led to some calling for Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez's resignation or firing.

But Bell said Lopez work for the city manager, not for city council, and the manager says Lopez's status is a personnel issue.

Bell said all he can do is push for answers, which he said he's done with the State Bureau of Investigation, attorney general and Durham Police.

"If they can't release information because they're waiting on the SBI, they're waiting on the chief medical examiner, waiting on whomever, all they need to do is tell us that. We can understand that," Bell said. "But, not to say anything, especially when you've announced that you're doing an investigation, that's unacceptable."

Lopez has been with the city since September 2007 and makes $143,544.04 a year.

RELATED STORIES

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:25:38 GMT
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.