JOLIET, Ill. — Joliet police released their version of surveillance video documenting the events leading up to the overdose death of Eric Lurry while in police custody Tuesday.
A Joliet police officer is seen on police cruiser video slapping, cursing at and pinching Eric Lurry’s nose as he suffers a medical emergency on Jan. 28.
Lurry would later die at the hospital. His family says they don’t trust the department and want an independent investigation.
“He didn’t deserved to be slapped. He didn’t deserve to have his nose pinched for almost two minutes,” his widow, Nicole Lurry, said.
The edited video released by the department Tuesday shows a play-by-play, edited version of their side of the story leading up to Lurry’s death.
Authorities say on Jan. 28, the narcotics unit conducted an undercover narcotics investigation which led to Lurry’s arrest.
In the video, investigators point out that you can see Lurry chewing on something as he is handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.
Moments later, officers try to get him out of the car and that’s when things take a turn. The department says officers pinched Lurry’s nose to get him to open his mouth, then officers used a baton to try and get something out of his it.
The department says the officers used the baton to protect their fingers from getting bitten in the process. When it came to the officer’s foul language, there was no explanation given.
Officers say Lurry was unresponsive and they administered CPR. The Joliet Fire Department transported Lurry to St. Joseph Medical Center where he died early the next morning.
The Will County Coroners’ office ruled his death an accident due to heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine intoxication.
On July 2, the Will County Coroners’ Office released a statement which read:
“It is in the opinion of the Will County Corners’ Office and the independent board certified forensic pathologist, who conducted the autopsy, that the Joliet police Department officers played no role and shared no responsibility in the unfortunate and untimely accidental drug overdose death of Eric D Lurry jr.”
Lurry’s family does not trust how this investigation was handled, and said they want the Illinois Attorney General to launch its own investigation into this case.