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WATCH: US Man Tackled For ‘Stealing' His Own Car to Settle Suit Against Police

© Screenshot/BarzRus DotcomLawrence Crosby, a former graduate student at Illinois' Northwestern University, is tackled by Evanston police after he is accused of stealing his own car.
Lawrence Crosby, a former graduate student at Illinois' Northwestern University, is tackled by Evanston police after he is accused of stealing his own car. - Sputnik International
Lawrence Crosby, a former graduate student at Illinois' Northwestern University, was recently granted a tentative settlement to the tune of $1.25 million in response to a 2016 lawsuit he filed against the City of Evanston and the Evanston Police Department over his violent 2015 arrest.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz refused to confirm the dollar amount, as it is still pending a final City Council approval, which is expected to take place at the council's January 28 meeting. The settlement amount was confirmed by Crosby's lawyers.

"It's not easy for me to have to be put back into that situation and have to relive it again," Crosby told local news station CBS Chicago. "At that moment in time, I did not know if I would make it to the end of the night."

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"I've had to deal with post-traumatic stress and having fear of the police, honestly," he added.

On October 10, 2015, Crosby was pulled over by Evanston police after dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman who thought the then-PhD student was attempting to break into a car. The woman then followed Crosby in her car as he drove from his apartment building to the science building on campus, giving his exact location to the dispatcher.

Footage later released by the police department includes both audio recordings of the woman's call and the subsequent arrest of Crosby. In videos recorded by police dashcam and a camera installed in Crosby's vehicle, the former student is seen getting out of his car with his arms raised.

Despite Crosby posing no threat to them, several officers rush him, violently tackling him to the concrete for not immediately complying with their order for him to get on the ground. For several minutes, officers standing over Crosby yell out for him to stop resisting arrest.

​Later in the recordings, the woman who originally called police is heard telling an officer that "it looked like [Crosby] had a bar in his hand and he was trying to jimmy [the car door] open." She added that she "didn't mean to racially profile," before the officer tells her not to worry, as Crosby "has different issues going on."

Crosby was never trying to steal a car. In fact, he was just trying to fix loose molding that he'd noticed on the car he owned.

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Video shows that after police confirm Crosby is the owner and that he is in good standing, the engineering student is ultimately arrested and charged with disobedience to police. However, the charge was later thrown out, prompting Crosby to then pursue a lawsuit against both the city and the four officers who'd pulled him over.

The Daily Northwestern reported that at a recent weekend conference, Crosby told event goers that he wanted to use his experience to start a conversation about implicit bias and the use of stereotypes in daily life.

"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."

Timothy Touhy, Crosby's lawyer, told the outlet that the settlement also touched on Crosby's online reputation, which quickly became tarnished after articles suggested that Crosby had committed a crime. "Unfortunately, Lawrence has a digital scarlet letter that will never go away," he said.

Citing an attorney for the City of Evanston, CBS Chicago reported that the settlement does not include an admission of liability.

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