Local News

Family upset after memorial removed from Durham parking lot

Posted January 4, 2014

Jesus Huerta (Photo courtesy of the Huerta family)

— The family of a teen who died in the back of a Durham patrol car is upset that a memorial for him was removed from outside of the police department. 

According to police, Jesus Huerta, 17, shot himself in the head after he had been searched, handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car last month. 

Huerta's family created the memorial in his memory and did not understand why it was removed from the Durham police parking lot. 

On Monday the the police department issued a statement explaining why.

"The memorial for Mr. Huerta was allowed to be placed in the Police Department parking lot as a courtesy to his family; however, it was not our intent to allow it to remain indefinitely," the statement said. "The memorial was removed by department staff over the weekend after it was allowed to remain on site for slightly more than a week."





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  • bluecanary Jan 14, 2014

    These kinds of "memorials" are everywhere these days, and often get out of hand. I understand that families want to mourn, but that's what graves are for; a little bit of time on public property is a courtesy, but no memorial should be expected to last indefinitely.

  • clc72 Jan 13, 2014

    I also don't think the memorial should have stayed up for a long period of time... but I have to wonder why the Durham police would choose this weekend - right after the report was released to take it down. If it were me I would have let things die down just a bit more.

  • jackaroe123 Jan 7, 2014

    The family will be grieving their loved one for the rest of their lives. It's understandable they're upset. It's also understandable that the police or whatever authority can't leave any such memorial up on public property forever. If I'm going to find fault in any of this, it's with the media. Why not be respectfully quiet with regard to the family's sorrow, respectful that the police have their own legitimate priorities, and not fan the flames? There will be a report on the findings of the investigation and some legitimate developments about this case, possibly for years, but covering every tiny thing like a removed memorial just agitates the situation unnecessarily.

  • hp277 Jan 6, 2014

    I week was plenty long enough.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 6, 2014

    @nc_climber said, "but it's getting so these things are everywhere."

    Exactly. Imagine rock climbing and having one at the top of every mountain...along every trail...little balloons & plastic flowers in the middle of a park. Why do people need government & public endorsement of their pain and suffering?

    IMO, memorials on public property should should be removed as soon as they are placed.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 6, 2014

    B-B-But our 10' metal cross and it's concrete foundation was donated by private funds! We should be able to put this up anywhere we want!...like on the side of the highway...a parking lot...or courthouse lawn. Forever and ever! WAH!


  • nc_climber Jan 6, 2014

    People have started putting up memorials all over the place. I don't really think it's a good change, personally. I understand wanting to commemorate your loved one, but it's getting so these things are everywhere.

  • shamir13 Jan 6, 2014

    It was a TEMPORARY memorial...that means it has to be removed at some point.. I'm sorry he shot himself but he was obviously mentally unstable. Stop trying to make an issue where there was no issue.

  • My GOLO Screen Name Jan 6, 2014

    Why is this news? This ship has sailed...no need to make unnecessary attempts to rehash this irrelevance.