Joliet Police Officer Javier Esqueda has been charged with official misconduct for releasing video footage that shows fellow officers abusing Eric Lurry shortly before he died in police custody back in January. We have always said that not all cops are bad people, but the others are afraid to do the right thing. The arrest of Javier Esqueda shows why they are afraid. Esqueda was literally arrested for doing the right thing just because doing the right thing was allegedly illegal. Esqueda should be given a medal and named officer of the year, but instead he faces up to five years in prison.
Esqueda is charged with felony official misconduct because he allegedly broke the law by leaking video of his fellow officers abusing Eric Lurry the day he died in police custody. Esqueda says that his fellow officers were trying to cover up Lurry's death. He said that he released the video because it was the right thing to do. Even after getting out of jail he said that he would do it all over again. That sounds like someone that deserves to wear a badge. Someone that put the wellbeing of the public before his own safety and his career. That is what a police officer is supposed to do. Esqueda held a press conference outside the Kendall County Jail immediately after he was released in which he said:
"I want justice for Eric Lurry. I want to see officers in this country come out and tell the truth. Be brave like that star that goes with you with the oath you took. If there is anything like this going on come out and tell the truth, so the world and this country will know there are good cops out there. Something like this should not be happening to you for telling the truth. " - Javier Esqueda
Esqueda also said that he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the Joliet Police Department (JPD) for whistleblower retaliation. You can learn more about Javier Esqueda and hear more of what he has to say on this matter in the video below.
Javier Esqueda is proving that ACAB needs to change because not all cops are bastards. We have been big supporters of the ACAB movement because we believed that all cops were either bad or cowards afraid to do the right thing. Officer Esqueda is clearly not a bad cop or a coward, so he should not be labeled a bastard with the rest of them. He has single handedly proven that there are good cops out there, but he has also shown that most cops are either bad or cowards afraid to do the right thing, so we believe that ACAB should be changed to MCAB (Most Cops Are Bastards).
Even if Esqueda were not criminally charged for doing the right thing he would have been ostracized by his fellow officers. They would have labeled him a rat and done everything in their power to make him feel unwelcome. That is what most cops are afraid of when they refuse to do the right thing. Police departments are like criminal street gangs in that they are violent, prioritize their own above all others, and don't take kindly to rats. When an officer goes against his fellow officers the way that Esqueda did they no longer consider him to be one of their own. They consider him to be an unwelcome outsider that dresses the same. The social and professional consequences for such people are severe. They are no longer invited to social gatherings, no longer recommended for perks, passed over for promotions, or worse. Whenever an officer has the opportunity to do the right thing they also know that doing the right thing will at best result in career damaging consequences for themselves. That is usually enough to keep every cop in line. When on does step out of line the others feel the need to make an example of them. That can be done by not having their backs on the street or in cases like this treating them like criminals. Esqueda's arrest is clearly intended to send a message to the rest of the JPD.
Eric Lurry's widow is currently suing Douglas May, Andrew McCue, Jose Tellez and Lt. Jeremy Harrison for Lurry's death. None of them have been disciplined by the JPD for Lurry's death.