ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois State Police have released body cam video of the arrest of Lamar Bell, who died in police custody during an arrest in Rockford in July.
According to ISP, a trooper pulled a vehicle over near the intersection of 10th Avenue and Kishwaukee Street around 7:59 p.m. on July 17th.
Bell, 33, was placed in police custody. While at the scene, police said “Bell began exhibiting signs of a medical emergency associated with the consumption of narcotics. Narcotics were also found in the vehicle.”
The hour-long bodycam video shows Bell admitting to ingesting several baggies worth of cocaine he claims he “just bought” prior to the traffic stop.
In the video, Bell begins exhibiting excited behavior during his questioning and complaining about his heart, asking officers to call an ambulance. Medical personnel arrived at the scene within 10 minutes and began administering aid.
Bell was taken to UW SwedishAmerican. According to the Winnebago County Coroner, he was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 9:13 p.m.
In a GoFundMe for Bell’s funeral expenses, his family suggested that law enforcement was responsible for his death.
The Rockford Police Department responded on public Facebook posts, seeking to push back against “inaccurate information” being shared on social media.
No signs of traumatic injury were found after an autopsy was performed, the coroner said. Bell’s cause of death was later attributed to “adverse effects of cocaine.”
The incident is being investigated by the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation and the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.