Sunday, January 12, 2014

Handcuffed teenager shot HIMSELF in the head in back of police car, insist North Carolina police amid outrage

North Carolina police say they have proof a 17-year-old Latino teen, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, fatally shot himself in the head last year.

Durham police today released the preliminary findings of their internal investigation into the death of Jesus Huerta as he sat in the back of a police car on November 19.

Police said evidence clears officers of any wrongdoing, as an autopsy report revealed Huerta died from a gunshot wound to the face at close range.

Police told a press conference today that investigators found gunpowder residue on a white, batting-style glove that Huerta was wearing and none on the arresting officer's hand.

Authorities say the officer checked the car at the start of his shift and found no weapon.

However Huerta's family says the findings have raised more questions than answers, repeating their call for a federal investigation.

Officer Sam Duncan arrested Huerta, handcuffed him behind his back and placed him in a patrol car after patting him down. A gun was not detected.

Cops said on the way to the police station, Huerta shot himself.

An initial police report said the cruiser's internal video was not turned on at the time. The camera was started at 6.05pm when Duncan initially logged on to the system but he did not turn the camera back on after picking up Huerta.

Officers said Huerta shot himself with a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun but did not say how the teenager got the gun.

The controversial case has sparked at least two demonstrations against police regarding the department's handling of the Huerta case.

In one protest, officers used tear gas to disperse crowds that had gathered in downtown Durham. Police said some in the crowd threw rocks and bottles at officers.





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