Hey folks – I just got this email and hope you will join me in placing a call to the Department of Justice to demand an investigation into the Durham Police Department. Here is the message from the body of the email:

“There are still more questions than answers in the tragic death of 17 year old Jesús Huerta. The young man died of a gunshot wound to the face received while handcuffed in the back of a police car in Durham, North Carolina.

Durham Police have released a report saying that Jesús somehow shot himself, a claim that defies logic. Jesus’s hands were cuffed behind his back, and the officer who arrested Jesus claims to have frisked him before arresting him.

Jesús’s grieving family needs answers they can trust now more than ever. Last month the Department of Justice received more than 18,000 petition signatures calling for a patterns and practices investigation of Durham Police Department, but so far they’ve done nothing.

It’s time to increase the pressure for them to act. Can you take a moment to call the DOJ to ask for an investigation of Durham Police? We’ll give you the phone number and a short script you can use.

Sunday night marked two months since Jesús’s death, and his family organized a prayer vigil in Durham. Jesús’s family and community are still seeking answers and assurances this will never happen again.

While we still can’t be sure how Jesús died, we do know that he was the second Latino and third man of color to die in the presence Durham Police Department since July. We know that the police chief is under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission following his own vice chief’s allegations of discriminatory practices in hiring and promotion. And we know that an analysis of traffic stop data reveals troubling evidence of racial profiling by Durham police.

A Department of Justice investigation could lead to the kind of reforms within Durham Police Department that would ensure that no other family would have to grieve the way Jesús’s family has.

Please place a phone call to the Department of Justice and ask them to investigate the Durham Police Department. We’ll give you the phone number and a brief script.

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Roberto, Jesús, Erick, Erica, Refugio, and the rest of the Presente.org Team”

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