Six arrested & charged at march for Jesus Huerta, who was murdered in police custody
January 21, 2014
Sunday night, a third march and vigil were held for Jesus Huerta who died two months ago. Jesus died in police custody while handcuffed in the back of a police car. Police allege that he shot himself in the head while handcuffed. In the United States, Jesus is this the third person of color alleged to have shot themselves in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car in the last two years. Also, it is the third killing by Durham police under investigation by the SBI in recent months.
Durham riot cops have notoriously confronted and broken up or attacked previous rallies for Jesus, and this time was no different. A march of about 200 people took to the streets around 5:30 after leaving the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church chanting “JUSTICIA PARA CHUY, PRESENTE PRESENTE!” The march was going quite well, and was peaceful until lines of riot police confronted marchers and sent them scattering. Marchers then split up into groups, and headed back to the church for the vigil. Events were streamed live on Ustream, and videos from the protests and vigil as well as interviews with attendees are available here.
After police showed up, some marchers smashed windows of the police station, while others spray painted cop cars. But the majority of them were just trying to get back to the vigil without being teargassed or beaten.
Eight activists were taken into custody, and six were charged; some had not even taken part in the march and were trying to meet up with friends. One activist gave their account of the situation, and reported that while walking up the street and passing a parking lot, they saw about 10 people running down from the parking deck. Immediately, a number of police on bikes, motorcycles, in cars, and driving SUVs surrounded them and ordered them to get on the ground. One activist was kicked three times in the ribs while on the ground, and then everyone was searched. When police found nothing, they took all eight individuals into custody. Two caucasians were released immediately without charge, and two juveniles were picked up by their parents. One person made bond that night, while three others spent the night in jail, and were bonded out in the morning by a community fund. None of the individuals were arrested for vandalism, but were charged with unauthorized entry to a city parking facility, obstruction, and resisting arrest (police reportedthat the group they arrested were running from them). The activist who gave this account said, “I hope no one is discouraged by this, and I hope everyone still plans on attending the next march. I most certainly will.”
The community is holding a benefit concert to aid with the financial costs the family still faces over the death. Members of the Huerta family say they need help with burial expenses. El Centro Hispano is a nonprofit organization collecting the donations. Donations can be made directly or by mail at El Centro Hispano: 600 E. Main St. Durham, NC 27701, or through their website: elcentronc.org. In both cases designate “For Huerta Family.” Before the march, Evelin Huerta released a statement on behalf of the Huerta family clearing up rumors that the family was not in support of the marchers.
To the anon who asks why native Spanish speaking people don’t teach their children Spanish: I used to be like you. Half of the Latinos in my school can’t speak Spanish for their life, and it used to be so embarrassing for me. The whole time I was thinking, why wouldn’t they want to know more about…
Did you know that today, September 15, marks the official beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month?
There are many stereotypes of Hispanics in the United States. Did you know that back in 2001, crime, terrorism, poverty and welfare, and illegal immigration accounted for 66% of all network stories about Latinos? Do you think that has changed? In a 2012 study, about 30% of non-Latino Americans believed that half or more of the nation’s Latino population is made up of undocumented immigrants and 42% said Hispanics refuse to learn English. Hispanics, in 2013, have been a hot topic in mainstream (and not so mainstream) media with regards to immigration legislation and the George Zimmerman case. The Zimmerman incident raised public consciousness and generated dialogue surrounding the concept of white Hispanics, highlighting for America that Hispanics come in a variety of colors. Hispanics are now about 17% of the US population. I would think that the news media has had enough time and experience to understand that Hispanics are more than headlines about crime, immigration and poverty. I won’t even talk about the way Hispanic women, Latinas such as myself, are portrayed in the media. I do not have J-Lo assets, I do not speak with a Rosie Perez accent (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I am not a devious housemaid. Again, nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact my family proudly boasts several housekeeping employees. Some may even have been devious. Or not.
Let me set two things straight, and sometimes it strains the imagination to think that these things still need to be said: (1) According to a study conducted in 2012, more than half of the adult Latino population in the United States, 59%, speaks English proficiently and 82% of those surveyed said that at least some of the news they followed was in English; and (2) 60% of Hispanics in the United States are U.S. born. Furthermore, 26% of all Hispanics married a non-Hispanic. All this to say that the media needs to get its facts straight and get its act together. A continuation of stereotypes of Hispanics in the media does nothing to help us move forward as a country. It is also inaccurate and uninformative, two qualities (accurate and informative) that one hopes journalists strive for.
Let us review some information on Hispanics and the economy. First, in BrowardCounty, Florida, the growth rate for Hispanics with annual household incomes of $200,000 or more between 2000 and 2010 was the fastest growing in the nation. Second, Businesses started by Hispanics represent the fastest-growing segment among U.S. small businesses, rising to about 3 million. Specifically, from 2002 to 2007, the number of Hispanic-owned companies grew by nearly 44%. Speaking from personal experience, members of my own family own about 6 businesses.My cousin started way back when as an employee of McDonald’s and was able to rise up and start countless new businesses. There has definitely existed a sense of being an entrepreneur that runs through our veins. I was taught to always think ahead and see what I could create and what I could become. I have not opened up my own business, although that may be coming in the future, but I have risen to the position of Vice President. I dare media to come and talk more to the small Hispanic business owner or executive, and we will defy your expectations and stereotypes.
In watching Nick Jr. my son received information today that it is the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. He asked me what that was about. I told him that his mommy is Puerto Rican and that his daddy is Jewish and that as such we value his Hispanic ethnicity. It is the day to be proud and for me to tell my son a bit more about his heritage that he can be proud of.