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February 16, 2019

1/21/2019 2:13:00 PM
City Settles Crosby Lawsuit
By Mary Helt Gavin

More than two years after Lawrence Crosby, then a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, was arrested by Evanston Police officers, he and the City of Evanston settled a civil lawsuit arising from that arrest.

Evanston Police arrested Mr. Crosby on Oct. 10, 2015, following reports of a stolen car being driven along Ridge Avenue. Mr. Crosby pulled into a parking lot, where police arrested him after swarming him and bringing him to the ground. The incident was recorded on both a police dashcam and one in Mr. Crosby’s car.

Mr. Crosby was charged with resisting arrest and disobeying a police officer. After a judge acquitted him of those charges, he filed a civil suit against the City of Evanston.

The trial of that case was to have begun on Jan. 10, but the case was settled for $1.25 million before jury selection had begun.

Dr. Crosby held a press conference in Chicago on Jan. 20, at which he said he had been struck 11 times by police and six guns were pointed at him during the incident. He said he has had to deal with post-traumatic stress and fear of police.

In a statement, Timothy Touhy, one of Dr. Crosby’s lawyers, criticized the Evanston Police Department’s narrative of the incident. He said the Department posted on the City’s website a video with the audio recordings of the 911 call and the police dashcam recording of the arrest. In a preface to the video, which remained on the City’s website until November 2018, an Evanston Police sergeant states Mr. Crosby was “actively resisting,” Mr. Touhy said.

“The City’s video was a propaganda piece that caused more damage to Mr. Crosby’s reputation, branding him for crimes that he did not commit,” Mr. Touhy said.

The RoundTable wrote several articles on the Crosby matter, beginning in January 2017.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the RoundTable City Council would have to approve the settlement in open session. That is likely to occur at the next regular City Council meeting, scheduled for Jan. 28.


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