Cop who exposed death of black man in custody is stripped of his badge
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For any copyright, please send me a message. An Illinois cop has been stripped of his badge after he exposed the death of a Black man who died in the back of a police car earlier this year. Sergeant Javier Esqueda, a 27-year veteran of the Joliet Police Department, blew the whistle on Eric Lurry's death last week by providing CBS2 with a video of officers holding the man's nose and shut for nearly two minutes after arresting him in January. The Will County Coroner determined that Lurry died of an 'accidental overdose' after swallowing a large quantity of drugs and said that police were not responsible for his death. But the incident was brought back into the spotlight months later after Esqueda's video emerged. Parts of the audio in the footage are missing, prompting accusations that police may have tampered with it. Esqueda was placed on administrative leave on Monday as calls for an independent investigation heightened, according to CBS2. One police source told the outlet: 'That's what you get' for going against the 'blue wall of silence'. Lurry, a 37-year-old father-of-three, was taken into police custody on January 29 in what was described by authorities as an undercover drug operation. Footage recorded from the dashboard of the squad car he was riding in shows him appearing to chew on something as he sits in the backseat with his head leaned back. Several minutes later he was unresponsive when officers attempted to pull him from the vehicle. One officer in plain clothes, identified as Sergeant Doug May, then enters the vehicle and strikes Lurry in the face, saying: 'Wake up, b***h.'The audio cuts off as May pinches Lurry's nose for one minute and 38 seconds while another officer is seen using a collapsible baton to try to pull an object they perceived to be choking Lurry from his throat. Lurry was subsequently hospitalized and died hours later. The Will County Coroner said he had enough heroin, fentanyl and cocaine in his system to kill 10 people. For the next five months police allegedly withheld information on Lurry's death from lawyers for his wife Nicole, she told CBS2. It wasn't until Esqueda released the video that Nicole finally got some answers about her husband's final moments. Esqueda said he blew the whistle because he believes his department engaged in a cover-up. 'On seeing that video, it was so disturbing, I cried,' he told CBS2. 'Every day, having to live with that was a hard thing, knowing that this administration was probably going to do nothing about it.''He [Lurry] was suffocating. In my opinion, anybody would suffocate in that situation.'I'm no doctor. But if you put your hand on your nose that way, and someone covers your mouth and you can't breathe, think about the struggle.'