Cops arrest student for stealing his own car. The police department of Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, released a police dash cam video of the arrest of Lawrence Crosby in 2015. Crosby was arrested after being pursued when police mistakenly thought he was stealing his own car.

Crosby, a black man, is a PhD candidate and a graduate of Northwestern University. He was arrested on October 10, 2015, after a citizen reported that he was stealing a car. Police came in force, pursuing him in multiple vehicles. Once he stopped, Crosby exited the vehicle, while eight officers shouted at him to keep his hands up. They continued to scream, with guns drawn, even while he complied with their orders.

Sgt. Dennis Leaks, in an opening segment of the video, explained that audio from the 911 call that initiated the police pursuit was included. He said that the citizen who called in the supposed theft followed Crosby while talking to the 911 operator. Police pursued Crosby, who eventually stopped on the side of a street in Evanston. He can be seen exiting his car unprompted and putting his hands up. An object can be seen in his left hand. Within seconds, several police officers emerge from several vehicles and wrestle him to the ground after giving him commands to go to the ground.

A police report noted later that Crosby had been holding a cell phone in his hand.

Police reported that he resisted arrest. He was also handcuffed. In the accompanying audio, it is apparently Crosby who can be heard saying “I don’t know why I’m being arrested.”

Police reply that he had been given orders. He replied, “There’s something called the Fifth Amendment.” An officer is heard to say, “That doesn’t apply.” In reply, Crosby apparently replies, “Yes, it does.” Evanston made the video public this week and posted it on its YouTube channel at the request of a Brian Miller, a mayoral candidate.

The Human Services Committee of Evanston’s city council will review police procedures over the next month. The charges against Crosby have been dropped. Crosby has filed a lawsuit against the city.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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