Eric Thurmond was a former Rockford police officer who gained fame for his work with youth and his viral videos as the “dancing cop”. He died at the age of 29 on October 13, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. What was the cause of his death, and how did he impact the lives of many people?
A Mysterious and Sudden Death
The cause of Eric Thurmond’s death was not publicly disclosed by his family or the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office. However, this has not been officially verified.
Thurmond’s death was unexpected and shocking to many who knew him and admired him. He had moved to Nashville, Tennessee, after resigning from the Rockford Police Department in 2021, following a plea deal for misconduct charges.
A Controversial Career at Rockford Police Department
Eric Thurmond began his career at Rockford Police Department in 2014, as a patrol officer. He quickly became a visible figure within the department, as part of the ROCK House program, which placed officers in homes within the neighborhoods they patrol. Thurmond lived rent and utility free in a ROCK house at 1007 15th Street, sponsored by the Winnebago County Housing Authority.
Thurmond was known for his dedication, passion, and innovation, as well as his ability to connect with people and inspire them. He was especially popular among the youth, whom he mentored, coached, and entertained. He also gained fame for his viral videos of him dancing with kids at city block parties, earning him the nickname of the “dancing cop”.
However, Thurmond’s career took a dark turn in 2019, when he was accused of raping a 26-year-old woman while off duty. He was charged with criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, and placed on paid administrative leave. The charges sent waves through the community, as some defended him and others condemned him.
In 2021, Thurmond pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, as part of a plea deal. He was required to perform 50 hours of community service, resign from the Rockford Police Department, and agree never to work as a law enforcement officer in Illinois. He was also fined $439.
A Loving and Devoted Son and Friend
Eric Thurmond was survived by his mother, Lisa Thurmond, and his sister, Erica Thurmond. He was also the son of the late Eric Thurmond Sr., who died in 2018. He was also the grandson of the late Willie and Lillie Thurmond, who raised him in Rockford.
Eric Thurmond was devoted to his family, who were his pride and joy. He supported them in their endeavors, encouraged them to pursue their dreams, and taught them to be strong and independent. He also shared with them his love for music, sports, and travel.
Eric Thurmond was also a loyal and caring friend to many people. He was described as a genuine, selfless, kind-hearted, and fun-loving person. He always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and be a positive influence. He was also known for his sense of humor, his generosity, and his faith.
Eric Thurmond was a remarkable man who touched the lives of many people. He left behind a legacy of excellence, compassion, and controversy that will be remembered and debated by his family, friends, and Rockford community. He was a Rockford police officer, and he will be forever in our hearts.