The Joliet police officer accused of leaking video footage moments before the death of Eric Lurry, a Black man, while he was in police custody is set to be arraigned in January. The date was set in Kendall County Court Monday.
51-year-old Javier "Butch" Esqueda, of Plainfield, is charged with official misconduct. Prosecutors allege that Esqueda released squad car footage of Joliet police officers shoving a baton down the throat of Eric Lurry during a drug investigation. Lurry died moments later.
Esqueda's lawyers want the case dropped. In court filings they argue that Kendall County is not the proper venue for the trial because the alleged misconduct did not take place in the county. Esqueda's lawyers also are arguing the case should be dropped because Esqueda did not violate any rules in releasing the footage.
Kendall County charging documents allege that Esqueda accessed the video from his squad car while he was off duty. The documents say that the squad car passed through Kendall County at the time.
Esqueda's lawyers argue that the squad car passing through Kendall County is not a good reason to hold the trial there.
Esqueda was arrested last month in Kendall County. Esqueda posted bond to be released shortly after.
One of Esqueda's lawyers, Jeff Tomczak, says his client is whistleblower trying to do the right thing by making the public aware of alleged police misconduct.
The Joliet Police Department says that Esqueda's alleged actions may have compromised evidence in an ongoing investigation.
Esqueda has been on paid leave from the Joliet Police Department.