Black grad student brutally arrested by police for ‘stealing’ his own car settles case for $1.25 million
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Lawrence Crosby, a doctoral student who was pulled over by police in 2015 for allegedly stealing a car that belonged to him, has reportedly settled a lawsuit for against the city of Evanston, Illinois for $1.25 million.
Crosby sued the city and the four officers who arrested him and used excessive force, tackling the Northwestern University engineering student to the ground.
In 2017 Evanston police released not only dashboard video of the incident but a recording of the 911 call in which a woman reported seeing a man stealing a car.
“Yeah. I don’t know if I’m like racial profiling… I feel bad,” said the 911 caller after describing a man standing by a car with a long bar in his hands.
“Did you see him jimmy the door open or do anything?” 911 dispatcher asked.
“He had a bar in his hand, and it looked like he was jimmying the door open,” the caller replied.
When police pulled Crosby over a short time later, he can be seen in the video getting out of the car with his hands up. The police approach him with guns drawn, shouting at him, and he is tackled to the ground and placed in handcuffs even while he continues to tell police that he owns the car and has documentation for it.
Crosby was trying to repair something on his car when the woman reported that a Black man was trying to break into a car.
Four officers were named in Crosby’s suit in their individual capacity, Sean O’Brien, Brian Hicks, Anthony Correa and Ivan Reza. Correa is seen in the video striking Crosby at least seven times, according to Crosby’s attorney, Tim Touhy.
Once police determined that the vehicle was owned by Crosby they still charged him with disobeying officers and resisting arrest, the Daily Mail reports.
A judge later dismissed the charges.
“It’s his hope that as a result of this case, that all of us begin a discussion on implicit bias and begin to recognize it and begin to discuss it between yourselves and your friends,” said Crosby’s attorney Steven Yonover.
Touhy reported to the Chicago Tribune that the settlement was $1.25million.
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over that in my lifetime,” Crosby said at a press conference Sunday. He said he still suffered from the affects of the stop, including post-traumatic stress and fear of police.
“At that moment in time I did not know whether I would make it to the end of the night, facing however many weapons pointed at me,” Crosby told reporters. He said he hoped to use his experience as an example for change.
“Change that leads to a society where what happened to me is less likely to happen again to anyone,” he said, according to the Daily Northwestern. “I have just completed a three-year journey to clear my name. But my journey is not finished. Today I am starting on the next leg of that journey.”