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Vigil for teen who died in police custody leads to six arrests

Dec. 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A vigil in Durham, N.C., for a teen who died while in police custody led to six arrests and the use of tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd, police said.

"I could not be more proud of the restraint and professionalism demonstrated by our officers. There was a march. The peaceful intent did not exist. We used the best practices of law enforcement," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said in a statement.

Some in the crowd of 150 to 200 people threw rocks and bottles at police and vandalized police property in the incident Thursday, Lopez said.

Jesus Huerta, 17, died Nov. 19 from what police said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, while he was handcuffed in the back of a police car while being driven to a police station on a second-degree trespassing charge.

Huerta's family and local activists allege foul play on the part of the police, CNN said Friday, and have submitted a formal petition for archives into the investigation.

Lopez has said the weapon used in the shooting was not a police firearm, but state authorities are continuing to investigate where it came from, CNN said.

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