In one part powerful political gesture and one part media frenzy, friends and family of Jesus “Chuy” Huerta gather at the FBI Resident Agency in Cary to deliver a petition of 18,000 signatures asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Durham Police Department for alleged civil rights violations. Huerta, 17, died of a gunshot wound while in Durham Police custody on Nov. 19.

The Huerta family has partnered with, a political advocacy group for Latinos, to help collect the signatures and support their quest for answers in Huerta’s death. So far, the Durham Police have been silent about what happened, citing an ongoing investigation.

Photographers and reporters crowded the bereaved in the stinging rain to gather soundbites for their looming noon newscasts. At the edge of the cluster, Huerta’s friend Vianey Fuentes looked to the sky. “It’s raining because Chuy is with us,” she said.

This article appeared in print with the headline “Special delivery.”