Northwestern Doctoral Student Accused Of Stealing His Own Car Is Pressing Charges
In the words of the almighty motivational Snapchat guru, DJ Khaled, here’s another one--another case of unjust force used against a person of color. Thankfully, the incident didn’t end with a fatal result. One of the advancing officers sought to ensure the innocent perpetrator knew his fortune claiming, “I didn’t shoot you, mother f*****. You should feel lucky for that.”
On October 5, 2015, Lawrence Crosby, a Ph.D student at Northwestern University was pulled over by the police due to a false report, by an on-looking Evanston citizen, stating he was attempting to stage a heist on his own car.
Once pulled over, Crosby exits his vehicle, hands raised in surrender without any suggestion of threat to the officers. Despite his cooperating nature, they proceed to shout at Crosby and rush to tackle him to the ground in an unsettlingly, all-too-familiar manner of face to the pavement and knees in the back, while being accused of resisting arrest.
After the woman who called in the report recognized that her appraisal of the situation was false, she became unsettled and apologetic about engaging in racial profiling. But the officer who was on the phone with her reassured her instead of offering advice on how to better handle a similar situation, if one had occurred in the future.
Upon learning Crosby was innocent of the initial offense, the officers charged him with disobeying a police officer and resisting arrest. Crosby was later acquitted of the charges and decided to file a suit against EPD and the city of Evanston, Blavity reports. In light of this situation, Crosby released the above dash cam footage from that night.
Since the incident, Sgt. Dennis Leakes of EPD released a statement saying: “It was determined that the force used in this incident was in compliance with our procedures as it pertains to this type of situation.” But in response to negative recognition of the incident, Leakes also announced that subjects will no longer be required “to be proned during these types of stops” due to the problematic issues attached to the act like “locations of the stop, weather conditions and it gives a bad perception.”
Evanston’s mayor, Elizabeth Tisdahl, admitted that the city has a “cultural problem” in regards to race denoting the fact to a trend prevalent in cities across the country. Police Chief Richard Eddington doesn’t believe that issue is present within the EPD claiming, “We have sergeants, commanders and deputy chiefs of color. I find it unfathomable that any of them would tolerate racist behavior.”
Although the demographic representation is accommodating with about 25 percent of the the force being made up of black officers, while 18.1 percent of its city’s citizens are black, racial imbalance still lives amongst the city with black people accounting for 61 percent of arrests and 73 percent of contact cards documenting police stops in 2015.