How a Nosy Woman Got a Doctoral Candidate Beaten and Arrested

Dashcam footage shows Lawrence Crosby exiting his car holding what police would later learn is a cellphone. (CBS screenshot)
Dashcam footage shows Lawrence Crosby exiting his car holding what police would later learn is a cellphone. (CBS screenshot)

Lawrence Crosby, a black man and an engineering doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, was fixing his car in a suburb outside Chicago on Oct. 10, 2015, when a woman passing by called police.


“Hi, somebody’s trying to break into, somebody’s trying to break into a car,” the woman told the dispatcher, according to Fox 32. “I think the person just got into the car.”

In case you missed it, Crosby was fixing his own car and then got into his own car and pulled off. The woman followed Crosby, giving updates to police. Evanston police arrived on the scene around 7 p.m. and ordered Crosby out of his vehicle. Dashcam video of Crosby’s arrest was released Wednesday by Evansville police. The video shows Crosby exiting his vehicle with his hands raised before cops take him down and begin punching him.

Crosby also had a dashcam in his own car and can be heard on the police recording telling the cops, “I’m cooperating ... sir, you’re on video ... that’s an FYI.”

“I understand being a police officer is a tough job, but we need them to exercise judgment in their day-to-day operations,” Evanston Alderman Brian Miller, who is running for mayor and encouraged the release of the dashcam footage, told the news station.

“And in this situation, within 10 seconds of Mr. Crosby getting out of his car with his hands in the air, he was tackled, he was kneed while he was standing up, then he was punched repeatedly by multiple officers, for allegedly stealing his own car. Our police officers need to be better than that,” Miller added.

Crosby was charged with resisting arrest and disobeying an officer, but a judge threw out those charges, Fox 32 reports. An investigation by the Evanston Police Department found the use of force justified, but the department has made changes to prevent police takedowns of subjects during an arrest.


Crosby filed a civil rights lawsuit against the EPD in 2016, and that case is now pending, Fox 32 reports.

See the beating and arrest below:

Read more at Fox 32.


Vanguard Knight

Dashcams are important.* If you can get one that can link to a cellphone for upload to the cloud, even better.

If you are an african american, asian, or any non-white passing minority you need to have one of these.

Think about this case: without the recording, he would be facing charges for resisting arrest with no recourse against the cops who beat him. If you rely on your car in any capacity you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to have a dash cam in your vehicle.

*Even for regular insurance purposes it helps. My brother avoided a huge deductable this summer because his dashcam caught the license plate of a man who hit and ran from an accident.