DeKalb police release in-car video footage of incident


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Accident or crime scene cordon tape, police line do not cross.

By Noah Thornburgh

Due to heightened public interest, the DeKalb Police Department have released footage of an Aug. 24 arrest incident, according to a press release.

The 17 minute footage is available on YouTube here.

Elonte E. McDowell, 25, of Aurora, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of cannabis with the intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis, criminal trespass to property and resisting a peace officer.

The video shows a DeKalb officer pulling over suspect McDowell off of South Annie Glidden Road into Lincoln Tower Apartments, on the corner of South Annie Glidden Road and Lincoln Highway.

Two officers approach the vehicle. The video features audio from the officer speaking to McDowell on the driver’s side. The second officer approached the passenger side and is shown speaking to Alyssa Retuerto, McDowell’s girlfriend.

Retuerto’s footage of the incident went viral last week after being posted on Facebook.

The video shows McDowell saying he has an ID in the trunk but no driver’s license. At 3 minutes, he asks if he is being detained. The first officer says, “Well yes, you’re on a traffic stop, so you know you are being detained.”

At 5 minutes, the first officer asks McDowell to exit the vehicle. McDowell says “Why?” The officer says, “I have to talk to you. You are under an obligation to come out, if you don’t come out of the vehicle I can arrest you.”

A third officer approaches the driver’s side of the vehicle, later referred to by the first officer as his supervisor. The third officer is shown opening McDowell’s door after McDowell refuses to exit the vehicle.

McDowell and Ruteurto are shown exiting the vehicle. McDowell is led off camera by the first and third officers. Audio from the first officer is audible. Ruteurto is shown talking to the third officer in front of the parked vehicle.

The first officer asks McDowell a series of questions. The first officer says a search for McDowell’s brought up a trespassing charge at Lincoln Tower Apartments.

“That was a long time ago, and I just got here when I pulled over for y’all,” McDowell says. “Why are y’all trying to give me a hard time, I haven’t done anything.”

McDowell says he pulled into Lincoln Tower Apartments because he was stopped by the police. The first officer asks why he didn’t stop on the right side of the road.

At 9 minutes, a fourth officer is shown entering with a K-9 unit.

McDowell is heard saying “stop touching me” to the first officer. The first officer says, “You are not free to go.” McDowell asks, “Why am I being detained?”

The first officer says “because you were given a trespass notice, that’s why.”

At 11 minutes, the K-9 unit is shown examining the car. The first officer says “Right now you are being detained because the K-9 alerted us to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle.”

At 11 minutes and 20 seconds, the video switches to the camera from another squad car. The first and third officers are shown attempting to handcuff McDowell.

“What am I being detained for,” McDowell says.

The incident that went viral is shown at approximately 11 minutes and 30 seconds into the video.

At 15 minutes, an off-camera officer is heard saying, “Right before that happened, I found a very small bag of suspect cannabis inside the door, so we had enough to detain him, and then he was fixing to run.” Another officer is heard saying, “I know he was, that’s why I kept grabbing onto him.”

Text at the end of the video reads, “Elonte McDowell was offered and refused medical treatment at the scene. He was transported to the DeKalb Police Department for booking and processing. As of 8/31/2019, this incident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.”