Officer suspended over teen’s suicide in back of squad car
DURHAM, N.C. — The officer who searched Jesus Huerta before investigators say the teen committed suicide in the back of a squad car last year has been suspended, according to WTVD.
In a statement released Monday, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Officer Samuel Duncan received a suspension of 40 hours without pay for failing to find the gun in Huerta’s possession.
Huerta was arrested by Durham police Nov. 19. His family had called to report he had run away. When officers found him, they discovered an outstanding arrest warrant for a second-degree trespassing charge and decided to take him into custody.
Huerta was placed in the back of a squad car and taken to police headquarters. As the car pulled into the parking lot around 2:30 a.m., the officer driving reported hearing a loud bang and he jumped out of the moving car, which then rolled into parked vehicles.
Huerta was found dead of a gunshot wound in the back of the cruiser.
The Durham County prosecutor’s office said last month that it has finished reviewing the case and no criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved in the case.
The case has led to multiple protests in Durham that have ended with violence and arrests.
An attorney who represents the Huerta family said Monday they will continue their own investigation of the case.