Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Whistleblower Ousted from Police Union in Retaliation

When Joliet Police sergeant Javier Esqueda received a hand-delivered letter from one of his peers, he knew it was bad news. The letter was from the president of the police supervisor’s union, informing Esqueda of a near-unanimous vote to expel him from their ranks.

The letter read, “The Executive Board finds cause that you engaged in conduct that is detrimental to the orderly operation of the Association. And your conduct is deemed so reprehensible that removal from membership is appropriate.”

What was Esqueda’s conduct that was deemed so reprehensible? He leaked a video to the media of several officers mistreating a man in their custody. In January of 2020, officers were transporting Eric Lurry to their local police station when he appeared to lose consciousness. Officers suspected that immediately prior Lurry had swallowed drugs as an attempt to evade arrest, and therefore could’ve understood Lurry’s loss of consciousness as drug-induced medical distress.

But the officers didn’t transport Lurry to the hospital. Not only that, but they also repeatedly struck Lurry, restricted his airway, and at one point shoved a baton into his mouth. Hours later, Lurry died of a drug overdose. For their actions, the officers all received minor punishment, including a six-day suspension for the officer who intentionally turned off the sound to the recording.

But for leaking the squad car video, Esqueda was charged by prosecutors of four counts of misconduct. Not only was he removed from the police union, but he faces up to 20 years in prison. Esqueda said, “They all wanted me charged, they all want me gone, and by doing this, it’s self-gratification for them.”

After USA TODAY ran a story on Esqueda, the Illinois Attorney General’s office launched a formal investigation, which resulted in Joliet police chief Dawn Malec being demoted.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Christians should always be bold truth tellers, exposing injustice as we walk in the light of truth.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Whistleblower Protection Office Fails to Protect Whistleblowers

A government agency designed to protect those who blow the whistle on corruption and malfeasance is now under investigation for retaliating against the very people it’s supposed ...

[Read More]

Black Officer Resigns After Being Profiled

When Bernard Robins saw the three officers eyeing him from their department cruiser, it was a familiar look. He’d been stopped by police multiple times before as a teen and young ...

[Read More]