Jan 10, 2014

According to Reuters, a police report on the death of a teenage runaway from North Carolina says that he shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police car. This is already difficult to fathom: How can a police officer make such a deadly mistake in not finding the weapon before placing him in the back of the vehicle?

Jesus Huerta died on November 19 after he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for trespassing. His family had called authorities and reported that he ran away from home and requested police search for him.

The case has triggered many protests in the Durham area, with residents believing the cops no more than most of the media who are thinking clearly have. His family asked the authorities for a detailed report on what happened repeatedly since his death on November 19th, and that report is just now being released. The family’s attorney has called the situation “a whitewash wrapped in a cover-up”, and I’m inclined to agree.

“The tiny truths in there are intertwined with half-truths and misdirection,” he said in a statement.

His superiors are telling the media that “this isn’t the first time” something like this has happened, but I’m not buying the story. The reason why I find the story unbelievable is boiled down into just one factor: The police camera had been turned off.

Police officials say they are still investigating any possible wrongdoing by the officer, who was placed on paid leave but is now doing administrative work. His car had a video camera that was not on at the time of the incident, the report said.