Rockford man arrested on drug charges after foot chase with police, sparks protest

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 27-year-old Denzel Dunivant was arrested Tuesday after police say he fought with officers after leading them on a foot chase.

According to Rockford Police, officers approached a “suspicious vehicle” in the area of Underwood and School Streets around 7:25 p.m. last night. As officers approached, Dunivant got out of the car and ran, police said.

After a foot chase ended in the 800 block of Tanner Court, Dunivant was taken into custody after a brief struggle, police said, adding that during the fight Dunivant bit an officer. Authorities say Dunivant sustained minor injuries during the arrest. He was treated at a local hospital and was lodged in the Winnebago County Jail.

Dunivant has been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Resisting Arrest, Aggravated Battery to Police, and Traffic Offenses.

About a dozen Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at Police District 1 following Dunivant’s arrest. They believe Officer Dominik McNiece used excessive force on Dunivant during the incident but a police report written by McNiece says he wasn’t involved in any altercation.

In the report, McNiece says he first tried to stop Dunivant in a parking lot near School street after believing he was wanted on a warrant. He says Dunivant ran and three SCOPE officers who were in the area began to chase him.

When the three officers tried bringing him into custody, McNiece says Dunivant bit one of the officer’s hands and started fighting with all three officers.

Eventually, police say he was detained and transported to a local hospital for “minor injuries.”

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