Evanston, IL – A former Northwestern University grad student who had charges dismissed for resisting arrest during a 2015 traffic stop, will receive a $1.25 million settlement from the Evanston Police Department.
Lawrence Crosby, 28, alleged that officers falsely arrested him and used excessive force against him after he was pulled over for “stealing” his own car, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Crosby refused to comply with officers’ orders to get onto the ground, and he was ultimately tackled and placed into handcuffs, dashcam footage showed.
“It’s not easy for me to have to be put back into that situation and have to relieve it again,” Crosby told WBBM. “At that moment in time, I did not know if I would make it to the end of the night.”
He said he was traumatized by what transpired during the encounter, and noted that Evanston police still haven’t apologized to him.
“I’ve had to deal with post-traumatic stress and having fear of the police, honestly,” Crosby added.
The incident occurred on Oct. 10, 2015, after a woman called 911 to report that a man was using a crowbar on the molding of a vehicle window, and that he subsequently got into the car and took off.
The woman followed Crosby in her own vehicle, and provided his location to police, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Officers pulled Crosby over in the 1500-block of Ridge Avenue, at which point he immediately jumped out of his car – cellphone in hand – and raised his arms above his head.
The officers knew they were responding to a report of a vehicle which had been broken into by a person matching the description of the driver and that he had driven off.
They handled the situation as a high-risk stop, and immediately ordered Crosby to get onto the ground.
Despite the commands from multiple officers, Crosby ignored them and simply faced them with his hands in the air.
Rather than getting on the ground, Crosby suddenly turned back towards his open car door.
Officers grabbed him and they continued to order him to get on the ground. Crosby still did not obey the commands, and began actively fighting their efforts to subdue him, the video showed.
Officers delivered approximately 11 body strikes before they were able to wrestle Crosby into handcuffs.
Once he was fully under control, the officers were able to investigate the situation, and determined that Crosby was driving his own vehicle.
Crosby's failure to comply with the officers' commands led to his arrest for disobeying officers and resisting arrest. A judge later dismissed the charges.
An internal investigation determined that the officers’ use of force was justified, and that they had delivered open-handed strikes and knee strikes as per their training, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Crosby filed the civil lawsuit against the Evanston Police Department in 2016.
“The settlement was for $1.25 million, and I consider that a fair and just compensation for the experience that I went through,” Crosby told WBBM.
He complained that none of the officers were disciplined for their actions during the stop, and noted that he never received an apology from the officers or city officials.
“It’s not justice,” Crosby said.
“We’re not looking for apologies [now],” said his attorney, Steven Yonover. “We’re looking for change.”
“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,” Yonover told the Chicago Tribune.
You can see the video of the traffic stop below: