PhD Student Arrested for 'Stealing' his Own Car

African American male arrested on false accusations of Grand Theft Auto. Video was released on January 12th, 2017. The male filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Evanston and several police officers in 2016.


  1. The Incident

  2. On October 10th, 2015, Lawerence Crosby was arrested by Evanston police in Evanston, Illinois because his car was suspected of being stolen. In this video it shows the male being pulled over and him coming out of his car with his hands up. Crosby was then bull rushed to the ground without even realizing what was actually happening to him. Here is a video from CNN below.
  3. After the video was posted online many people react to the incident on Twitter...

  4. How does this happen?

  5. On the day of the incident an anonymous caller dialed 911 reporting what she believed to be an African American male stealing a vehicle. The female witnessed Crosby working on his car with a metal bar and she reported to dispatch, “He had a bar in his hand, and it looked like he was jimmying the door open.”
  6. Who is Lawrence Crosby?

  7. During the time of the crime, Lawrence Crosby was attending Northwestern University where he was studying for his doctoral degree in civil engineering. He is currently 25 years old and is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University. A link to his Linkedin page is listed below.
  8. Lawrence Crosby | LinkedIn
    Lawrence Crosby | LinkedIn
  9. Crosby files civil rights lawsuit and Police release dash cam video

  10. In October 2016 Lawrence Crosby filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Evanston and several police officers because of the incident. The police then released this video showing their side of the story. In the video below Sergeant Dennis Leaks, of the Evanston Police Department, explains what he perceived to happen during the night of the incident. He states that the defendant is "actively resisting arrest." Crosby was prosecuted for resisting arrest but those charges were later dismissed on trial March 2016.
  11. Sergeant Dennis Leaks gives his perspective

  12. Sergeant Dennis Leaks defends the officers saying that the force that was used during this incident was in compliance with the departments procedures in this type of situation. But he also explains that they will no longer have subjects be prone (belly to the ground) in these types of stops because it can be problematic. (further explained in the video above)
  13. CNN has an argument about the situation

  14. CNN’s Cop Apologist Stubbornly Ignores The Science In Panel On Black Man’s Arrest For Stealing His
  15. In the video above, both men argue over the fact of whether or not there was excess force during the arrest. It ends up turning into a heated conversation when, Hill, mentions the science behind black arrests compared to white arrests.
  16. Is there racial bias in law enforcement?

  17. Its undeniable that over the past several years many disturbing cases like this one have surfaced through the internet and social media. Such cases anger the public leading to riots in major cities, and initiating movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement. The presumption that blacks and other minorities are being racially profiled by law enforcement is becoming prevalent throughout the United States. Many believe it to be true, however, it is inconclusive if racial profiling is actually happening. Social media only shows us the few problematic cases but there are also a lot of other factors to consider. In the study, "The Color of Crime," for example, Edwin S. Rubenstein says "This larger context is characterized by two fundamental factors. The first is that different racial groups commit crime at strikingly different rates, and have done so for many years. The second is that crime, overall, has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. Only after considering these points is it possible to draw well-founded conclusions about police bias."
  18. Where are the statistics?

  19. The Color of Crime shows many different statistics on crime rates based on ethnicity, bias in the justice system, and interracial crime. A link to the 2016 revised edition is linked below.