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Joliet Police Sgt. Javier Esqueda, Who Blew Whistle On Eric Lurry's Death In Custody, Receives Moral Courage Award

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) -- A Joliet police sergeant who first came forward to CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini with allegations of misconduct in the death of a suspect in custody, has received the Moral Courage Award.

Sgt. Javier Esqueda received the award from the law enforcement whistleblower organization the Lamplighter Project.

Esqueda accused the department of trying to cover up a video of the arrest of Eric Lurry.

Police video obtained by CBS 2 shows Lurry in the back of a police car during a drug arrest in January 2020. While Lurry was handcuffed, officers are seen pinching his nose, slapping him, and sticking a baton in his mouth.

Lurry died at a hospital days later.

"The hardest part about watching that video is watching another sergeant slap him and call him a bitch, then going straight for his nose and cutting off his airway," Lurry told Savini last year.

Sgt. Esqueda has since been charged with official misconduct for accessing and releasing the video.

He has been stripped of his badge and gun and transferred to desk duty.

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