JOLIET, Ill. — The wife of a man who died in police custody is demanding justice from the Joliet Police Department, the same week the police sergeant who leaked video of the incident was stripped of his police powers.
The wife of Eric Lurry is calling for an independent investigation by the Illinois attorney general because in her belief, the Joliet Police Department is not to be trusted. Nicole Lurry said her husband did not deserve to be treated the way he was by officers.
Eric Lurry died in January but the police video of the incident was released recently and was leaked by a department sergeant who is now stripped of his police powers and assigned to desk duty.
In the 7-minute video, Lurry was placed in the back of the squad following a narcotics investigation. During which, it appears he started chewing something.
Officers try to get him out of the car. When he’s unable to, an officer slaps him and yells at him. Police then proceed to pinch his nose shut telling him repeatedly to open his mouth. Then officers use a baton to try to fish something out of his mouth.
Lurry collapses and dies soon after. The Will County Medical Examiner ruled his death an accidental drug overdose, substances including fentanyl and cocaine.
His widow and others who joined her Wednesday outside the police department said it was wrong that the sergeant who leaked the video is being reprimanded. She said they wouldn’t have known about what happened without the video. She said there is a full-fledged cover-up now taking place.
Lurry’s family is now calling for the Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul to launch his own investigation.
WGN has repeatedly reached out to the police department for its version of events or any kind of comment and has yet to hear back.