Written by: @kristenshylin_
Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil ruled out police brutality as the cause of Eric Lurry’s death, nearly six months after his passing.
According to NBC 5, the Will County Coroner Office and an independent forensic pathologist determined Joliet officers “played no role and shared no responsibility” in the death of Lurry.
Lurry died back in January while in police custody after an undercover drug bust. Although Lurry was taken into custody on January 29, the dashcam video of the incident was just released this week.
In the newly released video, Lurry appeared to be chewing on something minutes before he was unresponsive. In the footage, you could also see one officer slapping and cursing at Lurry before pinching his nose closed.
Police suspect that Lurry swallowed a large amount of illegal drugs that caused his death. The dashcam video showed an officer trying to pull an object out of Lurry’s throat.
After examining the body, the Will County Coroner found high levels of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine in Lurry’s system that were ten times more than the fatal range.
Authorities ruled Lurry’s death as an “accidental drug overdose.”
In a statement, O’Neil said, “It is the opinion of the Will County Coroner’s 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.”
O’Neil said first responders failed to reverse Lurry’s overdose with doses Narcan. His levels of narcotics “were too significant,” he added.
Lurry’s wife, Nicole, hired attorney Michael Oppenheimer to seek answers about her husband’s arrest. Nicole said the police department did not offer information regarding the initial police report.
“I’ve had no answers from the Joliet Police Department. I feel like they’re trying to cover something up,” Nicole told NBC 5 recently.
Joliet PD responded to Nicole’s claims saying that there is no-coverup. The departments stated that they launched an internal investigation in Lurry’s death.
When asked why the investigation took five months, officials blamed the delay on laws and protocols. An external investigation by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Major Crimes Task Force must be completed before the Joliet PD can launch an internal investigation, the department said in a statement.
While there are no criminal charges against the officers involved following the external investigation, attorney Oppenheimer is determined to seek justice for Lurry.
“They did nothing to help. They probably killed him by doing what they did,” Oppenheimer said.