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DeKalb PD Releases Dash-Cam Arrest Footage

Sarah Jesmer
A screenshot of a YouTube video posted on the City of DeKalb's online account. The police department compiled dash-camera footage from multiple vehicles from those present at the August 24 arrest of Elonte McDowell.

The DeKalb Police department hasreleased video and audio footage of the arrest of Elonte McDowell. It comes roughly a week after the incident took place. 


A Facebook video of McDowell’s arrest has gained national attention and stoked allegations of excessive use of force by law enforcement involved. 

The 17 minute videoof McDowell’s arrest from police dash cameras was released on Sunday morning. It shows multiple officers pulling McDowell over near Lincoln Tower Apartments in DeKalb.

Officers physically restrain McDowell a little over 11 minutes in. The video shows him on the ground underneath two officers within 20 seconds. McDowell was tased during the course of his arrest. Interim Police Chief John Petragallo says Illinois State Police are conducting an investigation into the incident, at his request. He says it was law enforcement’s choice to release the video footage. 

“I want to be as transparent as possible with, you know, with this incident and how we’re responding to it,” he said Sunday afternoon.

An officer appears in a separate video shot by Alyssa Retuerto to restrain McDowell by putting his arms around the 25 year old’s neck. Illinois banned the use of chokeholds in 2016.

An earlier City of DeKalb press release said an officer involved has been moved to administrative duties. An unidentified voice in the dash-camera video says around 16 minutes says, "By the way, I did not have my arm across his throat…”

“This incident has drawn a lot of attention and, you know, we want to make sure that it’s treated with the professionalism...that it demands,” said Petragallo.

Charges against McDowell include unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and resisting a peace officer.

Petragallo says he’ll be ata community meeting in DeKalb’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, September 4, to speak more about the investigation and arrest. 

An officer with DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department was involved in McDowell’s arrest. Sheriff Roger Scott declined over email to be interviewed about this subject at this time, but told NBC Chicago that the officer who used a taser during the arrest is a Deputy with the Sheriff's Department. According to Pastor Joe Mitchell of New Hope, the Sheriff is expected to be in attendance at the upcoming meeting. 

Antonio Jeffrey, an attorney representing McDowell, said McDowell and Alyssa Retuerto will not be present at the upcoming community meeting as investigations into the incident are pending. 

Jeffery, of Chicago-based Jeffrey Law Office, LLCreleased a statement on August 29 that notes McDowell could seek remedies against law enforcement involved. "Please know that at the proper time we will seek any and all remedies available to Mr. McDowell under the law against the individuals and entities involved,” reads the statement.

Update, September 6: The DeKalb Police Department have responded to a WNIJ Freedom of Information Act Request for "Any criminal trespass records, no-contact orders, or active orders of protections filed against an Elonte McDowell, and any records of active orders of protection filed by Lincoln Tower Apartments." The redacted FOIA documents include a no-trespass notice filed against an unidentified person. WNIJ shares a part of this response because claims have been made to media outlets that Lincoln Tower Apartment managers have no record of a no-trespass document that was referenced by law enforcement in the August 24 arrest.