JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a Joliet police sergeant on four counts of official misconduct for accessing the video of an arrested man’s fatal drug overdose.
The indictment on Tuesday of Sgt. Javier Esqueda by a Kendall County grand jury alleges he used a laptop in his squad car to view a video of Eric Lurry’s death.
Lurry, 37, died in January while riding in a police vehicle after he was arrested at the scene of an alleged drug deal. The Will County coroner’s office ruled his death an accident due to heroin, fentanyl and cocaine intoxication.
Esqueda released video that shows officers slapping and cursing Lurry prior to his death. Prosecutors determined there was no police misconduct. Joliet police eventually released three hours of video related to the arrest of Lurry.
Lurry’s wife, Nicole, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Joliet and four police officers, claiming they engaged in “willful and wanton acts and reckless conduct” that led to her husband’s death.
While Joliet is in Will County, prosecutors say Esqueda’s alleged misconduct took place in neighboring Kendall County. Esqueda’s attorney Jeff Tomczak filed a motion on Oct. 21 to dismiss the case by arguing no actions by his client took place in that county.