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Nicole Lurry, whose husband's overdose death in Joliet police custody sparked calls for police reform, said she intends to run for a seat on the City Council next year.
Lurry, 42, made the announcement Saturday in front of a few dozen demonstrators after they marched near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Larkin Avenue. She decried the council's lack of progress on passing the police reform measures activists have called for.
"The council members in office do not care about this community," Lurry told the crowd.
She argued there's been "no change" under the current council and noted there was one member who has been in office for 30 years, an apparent reference to Councilman Michael Turk who's been on the council since 1987.
"Out with the old and in with the new," Lurry said.
In the months since the Joliet Police Department released video of Eric Lurry in the back of police squad car on Jan. 29, his widow has participated in numerous demonstrations. She said Saturday she's received the "runaround" from Joliet police about her husband's death.
Lurry has claimed the department "covered up" her husband's death and sued the city and four Joliet police officers over the matter. She said when she saw the video, months after her husband's death, it was "devastating."
"If it was Black on Black crime, the party would be held accountable," Lurry said Saturday. "If it was white on white crime, the parties would be held accountable."
The Will County Coroner's Office ruled that Eric Lurry's death was accidental and due to fatal intoxication from heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said his death "did not result directly from any action or inaction" by officers at the scene.
Nicole Lurry said she's been contemplating a run for the City Council for a few months.
Three at-large seats on the council are on the ballot next April. Already over a dozen potential candidates have taken out petitions to get their names on the ballot, though only one incumbent as of last week.
Lurry said she's lived in Joliet her whole life and is a part of several local organizations, at one point owned two salons and is a licensed real estate agent. This is her first time running for public office, she said.
If elected, Lurry said, she would push for Joliet police officers to have body cameras and naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses. She also decried the back and forth debates among City Council members in recent years as "high schoolish" and "absurd."
Joliet resident Candice Quinerly said the city needs more representatives of color in government so police reforms, like those she's pushed for, can actually be implemented.
"We need them to know that these are changes that we need," Quinerly said. "They have to take this seriously."