DURHAM: March for Jesus Huerta urges peace, not violence - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Tear gas, arrests end march for Jesus Huerta in Durham

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The crowd was greeted by a line of Durham officers in full riot gear at the headquarters. Some protesters could be heard yelling expletives at the police. The crowd was greeted by a line of Durham officers in full riot gear at the headquarters. Some protesters could be heard yelling expletives at the police.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Police made arrests after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd who marched to Durham Police Headquarters in memory of Jesus Huerta, who died in Durham police custody in November. 

"Some arrests were made and officers were forced to deploy teargas to disperse the crowd after rocks and bottles were thrown at the police," said Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez. "Although this was billed as a peaceful event, several participants donned masks, committed vandalism, assaulted officers and failed to heed commands to disperse."

At least eight people were arrested.

The march was planned to be a peaceful demonstration in remembrance of the teen who died after being picked up Nov. 19 on an outstanding second-degree trespassing charge.

"No violence because his family got mad about that," said Brandon Moreno, a friend of Jesus Huerta.

Family and friends of Huerta gathered at 7 p.m. at the Bull Statue at CCB Plaza and then marched to Durham Police headquarters holding signs and candles.

The crowd was greeted by a line of Durham officers in full riot gear at the headquarters. Some protesters could be heard yelling expletives at the police.  

The crowd began to move away from police headquarters around 8 p.m. after officers said demonstrators could be arrested for unlawful assembly.

The march became disruptive after marchers left police headquarters and returned to downtown.

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters who lingered following repeated requests to leave the area. The tear gas was deployed after officers were hit with bottles and other objects, police said.

"Thanksgiving passed and it was the most horrible day of my life that my brother wasn't here.  It wasn't just for me.  It was for my whole family," said Evelin Huerta, Jesus Huerta's sister.

A rally on Nov. 22 became disorderly when participants threw road flares and firecrackers, damaged a police car and broke windows at Durham Police Headquarters.

Read moreDurham demonstration protesting teen's death turns destructive

On Wednesday, Durham police issued a statement asking for those attending the rally to stay peaceful. Police said that although no one obtained a permit for the rally, police allowed the march to be held.

Lopez said Huerta died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound but could not confirm if it was accidental or intentional.

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