Illinois Sgt. Javier Esqueda has been placed on administrative leave after leaking a video of a Black man’s arrest earlier this month.
Back in January, Eric Lurry died in a hospital, one day after getting arrested on drug charges. The footage from that night showed an officer slapping and cursing at the 37-year-old as he sat in the back of the cop’s vehicle.
The clip also revealed that the officer closed Lurry’s nose for almost two minutes, while another cop used a collapsible baton “to poke around his mouth.” On July 1, Sergeant Esqueda leaked the seven-minute clip to CBS 2. “Seeing that video was so disturbing, I cried,” Esqueda explained. “Every day, having to live with that was a hard thing, knowing this administration was probably going to do nothing about it.”
At the moment, Esqueda is on administrative leave. The cops who played a role in Lurry’s arrest have yet to be disciplined.
Lurry’s family members claimed that the police are staging a cover up. They also explained that they are not angry with Equeda for shedding light on the incident. “He’s supposed to tell. That’s what police officers are supposed to do. He’s supposed to lead by example, and he did,” Effie Lee, a cousin, told CBS 2. “He said he cried for days seeing my cousin treated like that.”
“I’m glad the whistleblower leaked the video,” Nicole Lurry said. “I came down here to Joliet PD trying to get police reports, trying to get any information, and could not get one piece of information.”
Earlier this week, Joliet Police Chief Alan Roechner issued a statement, explaining that circumstances involving Lurry’s arrest have been investigated. “I cannot speak on any of the internal affairs investigations until they are completed, however I have to condemn in the strongest terms the false narrative that has been put out regarding that there was not an outside investigation done, video evidence was withheld and that the Joliet Police Department was covering up evidence,” he said.