Former Northwestern University Student Wins $1.25M Settlement After Bogus Arrest

After two years of litigation, former Northwestern Ph.D. student Lawrence Crosby, who earned his doctorate, won a $1.25 million settlement from the city of Evanston, Ill.


In 2015, Crosby was fixing his own car and a woman accused him of being a car thief. Once Crosby got back on the road heading toward Northwestern, she called the police and they responded.

He was later arrested and charged with disobeying officers and resisting arrest. This was even after officers learned the car belonged to him.

According to the police report, officers also tackled and struck him with open-hands during the arrest after he got out of his car with his hands raised. It was “determined” that the police didn’t act inappropriately by beating the young Black man mainly because they thought the car was stolen.

At one point in the video, an officer was heard saying during the stop: “I didn’t shoot you you should feel lucky for that.”

An Evanston Police spokesperson alleged Crosby told officers the reason he hadn’t immediately complied with their instructions was because he was trying to move within viewing range of his self-installed dash camera.

Crosby held a press conference on Sunday stating that he wanted to bring police bias to the forefront.

“I want to take my experience and use it 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. “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.

To date, Dr. Crosby is still dealing with the effects of his traumatic ordeal. He suffers from PTSD, nightmares and has an intense fear of the police.

Formerly on the fast track to completing his doctorate in engineering, he admits that it took longer to complete the program due to what happened. “It is not easy for me to go back to that situation,” Crosby said on Sunday. “I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over that in my lifetime.”

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