A black PhD student, Lawrence Crosby, was pulled over by police and beaten in Evanston, Illinois, on October 10, 2015, for allegedly stealing his own car.
Crosby recalled that he had his hands up in the air (confirmed by the police dashcam video) before he was attacked by the police in an op-ed for The Washington Post on June 29:
I was face down on the pavement. One police officer was kneeing me in the back, while others pulled or punched. They paid no attention to my screams identifying myself as an engineering PhD student at Northwestern University. They just kept punching. One shouted, “Stop resisting!”
Crosby noted that it was a fellow student who called the police on him for supposedly stealing his own car:
“I don’t know if I’m, like, racial profiling,” the woman had told the 911 dispatcher. To her and to the police, I was a black man in a hoodie…
After the cops arrived, after they tackled me, and after they determined that the car was, indeed, my own, they charged me anyway. Resisting arrest, they said. One cop joked to another that I “should feel lucky” he didn’t shoot me…
Now I must face consequences that are not of my own making. There’s an arrest on my record, even though a Cook County judge found me not guilty once he heard the evidence.
There’s news coverage and the dash-cam video on the Internet, available for any future employer or colleague who might choose to question me or my motives…
A fellow student’s impulsive action and her hasty decision to call the police have put all of my hard work in jeopardy. The arrest, the charges and the trial — a scarlet letter to go with the dark brown skin that I will wear for the rest of my life.
(Source: The Washington Post)