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Local News

3 arrested at Joliet protest Sunday on obstruction charges

Victor Harris of Joliet was taken into police custody during a rally Sunday to protest the death of Eric Lurry.
Victor Harris of Joliet was taken into police custody during a rally Sunday to protest the death of Eric Lurry.

Three people were arrested Sunday at the scene of a protest against police conduct in the Eric Lurry case.

Police did not respond Monday to requests for information about what led to the arrests.

All three arrests were made on charges of obstructing a peace officer at the corner of Jefferson Street and Hammes Avenue between 6:07 p.m. and 6:21 p.m., according to the police department arrest log.

The scene at the time was one of a police standoff with protesters at the BP gas station at the corner.

Protesters came to the station parking lot as police brought one man there from Jefferson Street where the demonstrators were marching.

That man was being taken taken into custody, and another man who had identified himself earlier as "Stringer" Harris was arrested as he confronted police about the arrest of the other man.

According to the arrest log, Victor T. Harris, 48, of Joliet was one of the three arrested.

The other two were Darien R. Alsup, 23, of Chicago, and Michael M. Haymer, 39, of Tinley Park.

All three were released on their own recognizance and given court dates in August.

According to one protester at the scene, the other two men were arrested while participating in a march on Jefferson Street, which was the second time during the protest that demonstrators marched on the street.

Early in the protest, they went into the intersection of Jefferson and Larkin Avenue, blocking it for about 10 to 15 minutes with police controlling traffic and urging them to move back to the sidewalk. But no arrests were made.

About 80 to 100 people participated in the protest, and 30 to 40 police were on the scene. Other police at times set up roadblocks on Jefferson and Larkin down the street from the protest when demonstrators went into the street.

The first march in which protesters occupied a right lane on Jefferson occurred without police interference.

It is unclear what caused police to make arrests on the second march.

Members of Lurry's family, including his widow and children, joined the demonstration.

Lurry died on Jan. 29, a day after he was arrested at what police said was the scene of a drug deal. The Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force has determined that he died from drugs he concealed in his mouth and ingested while in custody.

His family and others contend Lurry died from his treatment by police, who can be seen on police video pinching his nose and opening his mouth while probing with a baton before eventually pulling out several plastic bags that authorities said had contained a mix of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

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