A Ph.D. graduate reached a major victory in a civil lawsuit, winning a $1.25 million settlement against police officers who beat him during a traffic stop.

The Chicago Tribune reported Dr. Lawrence Crosby, who was an engineering doctoral candidate attending Northwestern University at the time, was driving to the science building on campus on October 10, 2015, when officers arrested the then 25-year-old. As the young man was fixing loose molding on his car, police approached him with guns drawn and ordered him to get down. After Crosby tried to explain that he was completing a repair, the four Evanston city officers then proceeded to hit him repeatedly.

A dash cam video of the arrest released in 2017 included an audio recording of a woman calling 911 to report a suspicious man wearing a hoodie. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the woman claimed to have seen Crosby attempting to pry open a car with a long bar in his hand, assuming that he was trying to steal the vehicle.

“I don’t know if I’m racial profiling,” the woman said. “I feel bad.”

Although officers discovered the car did belong to the Chicago suburb resident, the woman's allegations led to Crosby being charged with resisting arrest and disobeying officers after their attack. After standing trial, a judge acquitted him of all charges in March 2016.

"This experience was quite scarring for me, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it in this lifetime,” Crosby shared at a press conference on Sunday.

A lawsuit against the city was initially filed back in 2017 by the doctoral degree recipient who graduated last June, citing damages for malicious prosecution, conspiracy and battery. The case began on January 10 with all parties agreeing to the over $1 million settlement before the jury was selected. 

“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 continued.


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