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Illinois AG Raoul: Investigation Into Joliet PD After The Death Of Eric Lurry In Police Custody

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a civil investigation to determine whether a pattern of unlawful policing exists within the Joliet Police Department.

The investigation stems from the 2020 death of Eric Lurry, a 37-year-old Black man who died while in Joliet police custody.

Video first obtained by the CBS 2 Investigators shows Lurry in the back seat of a squad car, handcuffed during a drug-related arrest.

At one point an officer was seen pinching Lurry's nose shut while another inserted a baton into his mouth.

Lurry was later pronounced dead.

Attorney General Raoul said the investigation will examine the larger picture of policing in Joliet.

"This will be a civil investigation that will examine whether there are systemic issues within the department that affect the Joliet Police Department's ability to police in a safe, effective, and lawful manner," Raoul said. "While our investigation will review specific incidents, we will not be making specific findings about one incident or any one Joliet Police Department officer."

Raoul added that the city of Joliet and the Joliet Police Department have been fully cooperative.

The attorney general said his office will examine department policies, training practices, and supervision as they relate to traffic and pedestrian stops, searches, arrests, and use of force.

It's the first such probe by Raoul's office, after state lawmakers passed legislation granting him authority to conduct civil investigations of local police departments, as part of a wider police reform package.

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