Eric Lurry Press Release
Murder Cover up
In an astounding piece of public relations spin, Joliet Police Chief Roechner last night made yet another attempt to whitewash the brutal death of Eric Lurry at the hands of two of his officers. Chief Roechner can twist it any way he wants, but in the end, this was a cover-up, pure and simple.
On January 28, Sgt. May and Officer McCue pinched Lurry’s nose for nearly two minutes and shoved a metal baton down his throat while slapping and cursing at him as he lost consciousness. The officers made no attempt to immediately call 911.
Eric Lurry died the next morning, and the cover-up began. Sgt. Botzum issued a statement portraying the death as a drug overdose, knowing that they were hiding damning video showing Joliet police officers brutalizing Mr. Lurry.
Six months later, 8 members of the Joliet City Council and Mayor O’Dekirk viewed the video. Five members of the Joliet City Council refused to call for an independent investigation.
To this day, Chief Roechner has refused to let Lurry’s grieving widow, Nicole, see what happened to her husband. Nicole saw the video for the first time on July 1, more than 5 months after Eric’s death, when a reporter obtained a copy.
Only when a whistleblower, Joliet Sgt Esqueda, leaked the existence of the video did Chief Roechner admit to its existence. And for his courage, Esqueda was punished by Roechner, while Officer McCue and Sgt. May, the two officers who brutalized Eric, walked for 5 months with impunity.
Accountability and transparency, Chief Roechner? Far from it. Roechner has still failed to condemn the horrible conduct of his officers, but has plenty to say attempting to justify disciplining the hero here, Sgt. Esqueda.