The City of Waukegan is fighting an order handed down by the Attorney General to release body cam footage after a 31-year-old man died in police custody. The request was made by a private citizen under the Freedom of Information Act. The Attorney General issued a statement saying that the city’s refusal to disclose the footage violated the requirements of the FOIA. The city is arguing that it does not have to release the video because the investigation is ongoing. In other words, they are saying that since the mysterious death is still under investigation, they should be absolved from having to release potentially damning footage related to the incident. The death occurred in the summer of 2018.
The body cam footage was taken in June of 2018 after 31-year-old Avion Cotton was taken into custody after he fled on foot in an apparent attempt to escape police. Waukegan police said in a statement that Cotton had eaten an unknown white substance during the chase and became physically distressed while in custody.