Remember Matthew McCain, Remember Chuy Huerta. Rest in Power!

November 19 marked ten months since Matthew McCain was taken from this earth due to the criminal neglect of staff at the Durham County Detention Facility. Matthew would have been 30 years old next week.

It also marks three years since Jesus “Chuy” Huerta died in the back of a Durham police vehicle. The Durham Police are responsible for his death. Chuy was 17.

We continue to stand with their families and loved ones and mourn their passing, and vow to continue the struggle against the jail and the police.

Chuy Huerta and Matthew McCain, Presente!

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19 November, We Remember: Chuy Huerta and Joe Hill, Presente!

Two years ago today, Durham lost Jesus “Chuy” Huerta, who died in the back of a police cruiser in the parking lot of the Durham Police Department Headquarters, after being detained by patrolman Samuel Duncan for an old trespassing warrant. To this day, DPD chief Jose Lopez has not publicly acknowledged that his department is responsible for Chuy’s death. One of Lopez’s last acts, before his ‘retirement’ Dec. 31, should be to be accountable to Chuy’s family, his friends, classmates, and the entire Durham community, and admit his own fault, as well as Duncan’s and the entire department’s. And perhaps our charge as residents should be to make the swath of grass and gardens at Trinity and Washington streets a memorial to Chuy, to a life cut short by police, and as a reminder to never forget.

 

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Reaching a little farther back in history, we also take a moment today to pay tribute to the legacy of Joe Hill, as it marks 100 years since the state of Utah killed him by firing squad. The great bard and songwriter of the Industrial Workers of the World was in that state organizing miners when the authorities framed him on a murder charge. While these two deaths may seem to have little in common but a date, they both produced collective outpourings of grief and rage. Whereas a century ago, the state was in the business of framing and putting to death radical immigrants who organized to overturn the status quo, these days, although repression of radical activists is alive and well, the state–in the form of the police–more often sows fear by cutting down young Black and Brown people before they can even grow to full bloom. When Joe Hill told the firing squad “Fire” (his last word), he knew full well he was dying a martyr. Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell, Chuy Huerta, Michael Brown, and so many others had no such knowledge when they inexplicably lost their lives at the hands of police. Thus, we may want to update Joe Hill’s famous directive to Take time to mourn–and ORGANIZE.

joe-hill-a-pamphletAnd despite Joe saying no one ever reads a pamphlet more than once, we also offer again this pamphlet, written at the time of the protests surrounding Chuy’s death in 2013.

 

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Ripping Our Black Families Apart

Well, I am currently incarcerated for drug charges and weapon charges. Yo, I am writing this letter to let you guys know how I feel. First, I would like to say that this ‘stop the police violence’ protest is very well needed. I myself have been assaulted by the so-called law enforcers. I mean, this is just scratching the surface.

First, let’s talk about this unjust court of law. We are guilty until proven innocent. You are in front of a judge and the DA. One is there to make you look like a monster, the other is there to judge you. How can one talk about you and judge you when they are just as dirty? They hide what they do behind closed doors.

Second thing is corrupt police. To me, they are the biggest gang in the world. Let me take you back to 2004: the murder of Antonyo Rochell (Smurf) who was gunned down by a police officer. He was suspended with pay. WTF kind of punishment is that for taking a young black life in Durham, NC? Let’s fast forward to 2013 when a hispanic man was murdered in the back of a police car in Durham. Let’s talk about multiple reports on Durham police assaulting, harassing, and beating our young black males or our black males period. Also, putting fake and stacking additional charges on our people. And this is not just us blacks but our hispanics as well.

What do we do as a people? How do we protect ourselves from the police? Who protects us from the police – ‘the law’? Last time I checked they uphold the law. It’s already crazy in those streets. You have gangbang shootings every night, in turf wars. I mean, I am confused. I feel safer and take my chances with the gangbangers than the police. And that’s only the half.

The way I see, we are all out for our self. We as a people, the government, has and have ripped my family and our black families apart and continue ripping our family apart—by letting the police get away with murder, by giving us long lengths of time in prison, and jail cells leave a black woman and baby to raise a black man by herself. I am just saying, we need to fix this. It’s been real.

Sincerely,
C.B.

Hear our cries, society

We Inmates treated like Animals? Are we still Humans? DO OUR TEARS STILL EXIST?

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Time doing me

I’m a young hispanic 18 year old struggling here in Durham County Jail and over the time being here, I’ve seen and experienced a lot of depression, not only about my situation but the way we’re treated…Do they even remember we’re still humans? I’ve seen what they did to a fellow inmate; he asked to be put in solitary confinement. They refused him; so to get where he felt best he did what they wanted him to do, which was act out, and they went in his cell with 5 grown men and beat him severely. The kid wasn’t any older than I was, probably younger.

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‘The people believe with all their hearts that they need the system to survive’

from a “convict” in a state facility.

Hey (IOA),

How is it going? It’s funny because I’ve been here now for about 2 months and I’ve finally settled in so I was going to write you to say hi and see whats going on and all of a sudden I get a letter from you.

First off, I’m doing good, I mostly live inside my head because it is the only place “they” cannot affect. I stay busy by working out, playing soccer, volleyball or basketball and I read a lot. I also just recently got a job in the kitchen on the morning shift. I make 40 cents a day I think, the highest paying job in there is $1.00 a day so what people say about slavery is correct. We get to eat a little extra but if you’re like me you take as much as you can, fuck them. If I get caught they will probably fire me, but I won’t get caught. Lol. Continue reading

‘I applaud the uprising of all those angry and sick and tired of the DPD’

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on the envelope: Who Am I? What Am I?

Hey ___,

First I would like to say I am sorry for not writing you sooner. I’ve just been trying to find my niche here. So, I would like to talk about Chuy. I know him from Durham County Jail, he was in 4-C with me early in 2013. He turned 17 in 4-C with us, he was one of those kids that you thought there was more for him than this shit. I first heard about Chuy it was when I received your letter (when I was) at Craven with my drawings you sent back to me. It didn’t register with me what 17 year old kid you were talking about until I made it to Green C.O that I was up early one morning and was watching WTVD 11 that I saw his picture and then the name hit me. “Chuy” NO! It can’t be. So I made a point to get up early to follow this story…(omitted)

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