Video Shows DeKalb Officers Choking, Using Stun Gun on Man During Arrest - NBC Chicago

Video Shows DeKalb Officers Choking, Using Stun Gun on Man During Arrest

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    Video Shows DeKalb Officers Choking, Using Stun Gun on Man

     New video surfaced Monday of officers in DeKalb, Illinois, choking and using a stun gun on man during an arrest over the weekend. (Warning: Video is disturbing and it's not clear what happened before the footage was taken.)

     

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019)

    Warning: Video is disturbing and may be difficult to watch for some viewers.

    New video surfaced Monday of officers in DeKalb, Illinois, choking and using a stun gun on man during an arrest near the campus of Northern Illinois University over the weekend.

    The incident took place Saturday but the man's girlfriend posted the cell phone video on social media Monday night, garnering hundreds of comments and shares.

    The video is disturbing and it's unclear what happened before the footage was shot. At least four officers can be seen attempting to arrest the man, later identified as Elonte McDowell.

    McDowell can be heard asking his girlfriend Alyssa Retuerto, who posted the video on Facebook, to record the incident as one officer has him in a chokehold and two others attempt to handcuff him. A fourth officer, accompanied by a K-9, then steps closer and fires a stun gun.  WATCH: DeKalb Officers Choke, Use Stun Gun on ManWATCH: DeKalb Officers Choke, Use Stun Gun on Man

    New video surfaced Monday of officers in DeKalb, Illinois, choking and using a stun gun on man during an arrest over the weekend. (Warning: Video is disturbing and it's unclear what happened before the footage was taken.)

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019)

    McDowell appears to briefly lose consciousness, with one officer then tapping his face and saying, "You're okay, big boy. That's a nice fake."

    That same officer then appears to tell Retuerto, "Back up and don't impede in my investigation," as another approaches to shepherd her away from McDowell, asking, "Do you not understand that I have a dog in my hand and he will bite you?"

    In a phone interview with NBC News, McDowell said he was pulled over by Lincoln Towers off Lincoln Highway near the NIU campus and officers asked him to step out of the car but did not tell him why. McDowell said he got out of the car but when he questioned the officers, they attempted to put him in handcuffs and he somehow fell to the ground where the officers began to choke him.

    DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said in an emailed statement, "The defendant in the video you provided was charged with felony drug offenses and resisting arrest by DeKalb City Police this past Saturday. The officer who activated the taser was a Deputy from our office who was assisting DeKalb City Police."

    "The defendant in this case was processed by DeKalb City Police and transported to the County Jail in Sycamore. He was released on bond the following day," Scott's statement continued.

    The DeKalb Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

    McDowell admitted to NBC News that he had marijuana in his vehicle, but he and Retuerto said they both questioned the way in which he was arrested and wanted answers.

    An Illinois law signed in 2015 prohibits officers from using chokeholds in performing their duties "unless deadly force is justified."

    The law states that a chokehold is defined as the application of "direct pressure to the throat, windpipe, or airway of another with the intent to reduce or prevent the intake of air," according to Illinois code, but does not include "contact with the neck that is not intended to reduce the intake of air."

    It's not clear what the intent was of the officer in the video seen with his arm around McDowell's neck. 

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