Grand jury declines to indict DeKalb Police officer

By Noah Johnson

DeKALB — Charges against a DeKalb Police Officer involved in Elonte McDowell’s arrest have been declined by a grand jury. An internal review of the incident will be conducted to determine if the officer followed the department’s policies and procedures.  

A viral video released in August showed McDowell being choked by an officer and stunned by a stun gun. Over the past few months, DeKalb community members have expressed disapproval toward the handling of the McDowell incident, including at a November protest. During the protest, a list of demands was given to Mayor Jerry Smith and Interim Police Chief John Petragallo. The demands included diversity training and for officers involved in the incident to be held accountable for an alleged excessive use of force.     

“Although the officer has not been indicted on any criminal charges, the City holds our police officers to a very high standard,” a Dec. 10 DeKalb Police Department news release said.

Since the protest, Smith said he and Petragallo have begun working to address the concerns of community members. Petragallo said he hopes to expose more officers to racial sensitivity training.   

The release called the interactions between DeKalb community members and the City positive and constructive.

 “The entire staff at the City of DeKalb are fully committed to continuing that dialogue so that we can continue to provide excellent service to our community,” the release said.

The internal review of the incident will require the Illinois State Police investigative report, according to the release.  The department expects the report shortly. 

 “Upon receipt, we will immediately review its contents and determine what disciplinary consequences, if any, should result from this incident,” the release said.