Video shows DeKalb police officer choking, tasing man


Accident or crime scene cordon tape

By Kierra Frazier

A DeKalb police officer has been temporarily reassigned to his administrative duties after a video posted online showed him choking a man during an arrest on Aug. 24.

The DeKalb Police Department is reviewing available video footage and statements regarding the use of force of the incident, according to a press release from the DeKalb Police Department.

Elonte McDowell, 25, of Aurora, was pulled over in the Lincoln Towers parking lot on Saturday, and police dogs indicated drugs may be in the car. This lead to a search and police found 1.5 to 3 ounces of cannabis in McDowell’s car, according to court records.

DeKalb Police said the stop was based on information they had received that claimed McDowell had “a load of drugs.” When the police tried to place McDowell under arrest, he tried to get away, according to the release.

A taser was used by an officer to get McDowell to comply with officers, according to the release.

McDowell can be seen in the video with the unidentified officer’s arms wrapped around his neck and several other officers in the video with a stun gun and a K-9.

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

“I can’t breathe,” McDowell said. “Record this, babe. Record this.”

The video was uploaded by McDowell’s girlfriend, Alyssa Retuerto, to Facebook Monday night. Retuerto can be heard in the video telling McDowell she is recording and she loves him.

“He has a pulse right, you guys can make sure he has a pulse because look at his face,” Retuerto said to the officers.

An officer can also be heard saying, “You’re OK, big boy. It’s a nice fake,” and tells Retuerto to back up because she is impeding in his investigation.

McDowell was later taken to the DeKalb County Jail and was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis with the intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis, criminal trespass to property and resisting a peace officer, according to the release.