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Local News

Police: Protesters in Joliet blocked roadway, interfered with arrests

Protester said he didn't touch a police officer, obstruct justice

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 men at a protest over the death of Eric Lurry Jr. were arrested because they blocked traffic and two others interfered with arrests, according to Joliet police.

Darien Alsup, 23, of Chicago, and Victor Harris, 48, of Joliet and Michael Haymer, 39, of Tinley Park, were each arrested on probable cause of obstructing a police officer, according to Joliet police Lt. Christopher Botzum.

No formal charges have been filed against Alsup, Harris and Haymer as of Tuesday. The three men have court appearances scheduled in August.

Harris, who Botzum said interferred with Alsup’s arrest, said in a Facebook video that he never touched anybody at Sunday’s protest over the death of Eric Lurry in police custody.

“I never put my hands on anybody, especially police. I know better, never done that,” Harris said. “This is another way for them to try to bully us out here doing what we’re trying to do to get justice for Eric Lurry.”

Harris said in another video that he viewed a video that “shows clearly I did not touch a police officer. I didn’t obstruct justice.”

Joliet police officers had a standoff with protesters at the BP gas station on the corner of Jefferson Street and Hammes Avenue.

Officers were monitoring protesters who were walking on the sidewalk when they saw Alsup enter West Jefferson Street in an attempt to block traffic, Botzum said.

“Officers gave lawful commands for Alsup to exit the roadway numerous times and Alsup refused exit the roadway,” Botzum said.

He said there was a brief struggle and Alsup was placed into custody. During Alsup’s arrest, Harris approached the scene and started to interfere with the officers’ arrest, he said.

“Harris was told by officers to back up numerous times and Harris refused to follow commands,” Botzum said.

Harris was arrested after a brief struggle, he said.

As the officers were arresting Harris, Haymer also approached the scene, physically pushed past the officers arresting Harris and attempted to interfere with that arrest, Botzum said.

He said Haymer was then placed into custody after a brief struggle.

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