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City grows frustrated with violent protests against Durham PD

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Vandals attacked a Durham Police substation Sunday night during a march  for Jesus Huerta. Vandals attacked a Durham Police substation Sunday night during a march for Jesus Huerta.
DURHAM, N.C. -

After six people were arrested Sunday night, there's growing frustration in Durham over on-going protests against city police.

Durham Police said six people were arrested Sunday after about 120 people marched to a police substation on Rigsbee Avenue, where they broke windows, spray painted police cars and covered another police cruiser in ketchup.

The march was for 17-year-old Jesus Huerta, who died Nov. 19, 2013, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while he was handcuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser.

Since that night, Huerta's death has been a lightning rod of controversy and debate, spurring three protests that have ended violently.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell praised the work of the police last night, saying the city needs to be less lenient on protesters in the future while exerting "more control."

"When people begin to exhibit a pattern, such as the leaders of this protest have, I think we've got to be more mindful when they come to us for a request, and I certainly think there's going to have to be more control exhibited," Bell said Monday.

Unlike a similar march a month ago when officers could be seen in riot gear, officers remained largely hidden Sunday until later on.

Still, vandals were able to spray graffiti on police cruisers and break windows. Those vandals, police said, have not been arrested.

Bell said the vandalism was "beyond the pale."

"If, in fact, they're protesting against the police department, they have a right to do that," Bell said. "But I can tell you the tactics they're using so far are not earning them any support from certain parts of our community."

Some protestors said they don't believe reports that Huerta shot himself while handcuffed from behind. The reports released so far suggest Officer Samuel Duncan did not search Huerta very well and missed a hand gun.

The Huerta family was not involved in Sunday's march.

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Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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