Chokeholding cop tells unconscious suspect: 'You're okay, big boy"
A controversial viral video appears to show police in DeKalb County, Illinois tasering a man and putting him in an illegal chokehold to knock him unconscious.
The footage, which was shot by the victim’s girlfriend, has spread across the internet after one of the officers in the clip was heard slapping the victim on the head, telling him, "You’re ok, big boy."
During the video, Illinois resident Elonte McDowell can be seen being forcibly choked on the ground, while his girlfriend Alyssa Retuerto records the incident on camera.
You can watch the distressing video below:
Retuerto can be heard telling McDowell to "just be smooth, babe," before an officer tasers him in the stomach. Retuerto then screams, "What the f**k did you do that for," after which officers can be seen telling McDowell that he is "okay" and claiming his state of unconsciousness is "a nice fake".
While the exact circumstances that led to the situation seen in the video are unknown, it has since been revealed that McDowell was arrested for illegal marijuana possession. McDowell doesn’t deny the charge, insisting that he is ready to take responsibility for his actions, but he believes that the officers responsible should also be held to account.
In an interview with ABC Chicago, McDowell stated:
"This is what some police officers do and you have to put a stand on it. It's not OK. It needs to get out there. It happened one too many times. This happens every day."
Though precise details around the incident are still sketchy, DeKalb police have revealed some additional information.
In a statement, the department said a "felony amount of cannabis was found" at the scene, adding, "McDowell attempted to flee [...] Officers attempted to restrain McDowell, who continued to resist [...] The DeKalb Police Department is reviewing all available video footage and statements regarding the use of force in this incident."
The use of a chokehold has been illegal in Illinois, except in life or death situations, since 2015, again raising question marks over what can be seen in the clip. This, coupled with the recent court decision around the tragic death of Eric Garner in similar circumstances, shows that issues like this show no signs of being resolved in the near future.