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Man Arrested for ‘Stealing’ Own Car

Evanston, Illinois, police released dashcam video from a 2015 arrest involving an African-American man who was suspected of stealing a car that turned out to be his own, WFLD reports.

On October 10, 2015, Lawrence Crosby was working on his car around 7 p.m. when a woman passing by saw what she thought was an African-American male breaking into and attempting to steal a vehicle. She called 911 and then followed Lawrence in his car, relaying information to the dispatcher about his location.

“Hi somebody’s trying to break into, somebody’s trying to break into a car,” the woman told the 911 dispatcher. “I think the person just got into the car.”

Crosby, who is an engineering doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, was driving from his apartment to campus when he was stopped. He recorded the incident via his own dashcam video, and before the stop, he can be heard talking to someone and telling them he thought he was being followed. He was reportedly headed to the police station because of those suspicions, when police pulled him over in a church parking lot.

Dashcam footage shows Crosby exiting his vehicle with his hands up and a cellphone in hand. He then can be seen being taken down by officers who thought they were dealing with a car thief.

“On the ground…on the ground…down on the ground…down on the ground…turn around,” the officers can be heard yelling as they knee Crosby and then punch him.

“I’m cooperating…sir, you’re on video…that’s an FYI,” Crosby, who had moved to the front of his vehicle to put himself within view of his own camera, told the officers.

Evanston Alderman Brian Miller, who is running for Mayor, said he was infuriated when he saw the video. There have been five police-involved instances where officers did not de-escalate minor incidents in the past two years.

He pushed for the video’s release and says the case needs to be a wake-up call for the Evanston Police Department.

“I understand being a police officer is a tough job, but we need themto exercise judgement in their day-to-day operations,” Alderman Miller said. “And in this situation, within ten 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.”

The disturbing video can be viewed below.