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Mayor recaps Crosby case chronology

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Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has provided a chronology of developments in the case of a Northwestern University graduate student, Lawrence Crosby. In October 2015, Crosby was tackled by police who believed he’d stolen a car that turned out to be his own.

The mayor, speaking at Monday night’s City Council meeting, also included parallel developments in a project the city began several months earlier to provide diversity and inclusion training for the city’s police officers.

Mayor Tisdahl.

Here are the mayor’s remarks:

June 22, 2015

City Council Approves Contract with Dr. Gilo Kwesi Logan for EPD Diversity and Inclusion Training.

Oct. 10, 2015

Date of Crosby Arrest

Oct. 13, 2015

Crosby files paper with Police Office of Professional Standards to begin Police Complaint process. Mr. Crosby does not continue with complaint process.

Oct. 16, 2015

City Council notified of arrest via email from Chief Eddington.

October – December, 2015

Dr. Logan conducts ten focus groups with EPD staff.

December 2015

Crosby’s criminal attorney subpoenas the City for all videos of the stop and arrest. The City, through the Law Department, fully complies with the subpoena and produces the police car video, as well as any other videos in its possession related to the incident.

Feb. 23, 2016

EPD holds “An Evening of Diversity Dialogue with Dr. Logan” at Levy Center.

March 9, 2016

The misdemeanor trial takes place in Skokie. During the trial, videos of the incident are played in open court. All people present in court, who may not have even been there to see the Crosby trial, witnessed the publically played videos in the courtroom. Relevant videos were therefore in the public domain since March 9, 2016.

March 14, 2016

City Council discusses case and sees video in Executive Session. Directs City Manager to address policy changes.

May 2016

Dr. Logan conducts 16 training sessions with EPD staff.

June 2, 2016

City Manager releases memo to City Council directing Law and Police changes to use of force procedures.

Sept. 7, 2016

Dr. Logan presents findings of his work with EPD and recommendations to be considered to Human Services Committee. Staff directed to return to Committee with information.

Oct. 4, 2016

EPD presents information on current training of de-escalation tactics to Human Services Committee.

Oct. 26, 2016

Service of the Crosby lawsuit on the individually named officers.

Dec. 2, 2016

FOIA request for Crosby video.

Dec. 5, 2016

EPD presents information to Human Services Committee requested at Sept. 7, 2016 meeting. Further discussion of de-escalation tactics, training on mental health issues, active shooter training and work with Moran Center.

Dec. 13, 2016

First case management conference in the case, Assistant City Attorney Ford asked Plaintiff’s counsel to issue a settlement demand. No response by Plaintiff as of this date.

Dec. 14, 2016

Response to FOIA request for Crosby video.

Jan. 9, 2017

Alderman Miller request for Crosby video to be made public at City Council meeting.

Jan. 11, 2017

Crosby video posted on YouTube.

Jan. 17, 2017

Assistant City Attorney Ford called Plaintiff’s counsel again and requested that a settlement demand be issued. No response as of this date.

FOIA Request (December 2016 – January 2017)

FOIA Request #16-707 was filed on Dec. 2. The City notified the requestor, Dana Fang, on Dec. 7 that a 5-day extension was necessary.

On Dec. 15, the City Clerk’s Office timely mailed a CD to the requestor (however, did not note this in the Next Request system) with the Police Department dash cam video to the address provided, 907 Washington St., Apt 1D, Evanston, IL 60202.

Ms. Fang never indicated to the City that she did not receive the CD. It is uncontroverted that on Dec. 15, the City timely released the arrest incident report.

We also responded to the request for a copy of Mr. Crosby’s dash cam video. This video was uploaded to NextRequest on Dec. 14, unfortunately it was not “published” or made public to the online system prior to closing the request.

We discovered the error on Jan. 11 and released this second video as well. The statement that the video(s) were requested but not released is demonstrably false.

To the extent that staff’s interface with the NextRequest system resulted in an incomplete publishing of the uploaded video is not evidence of some intent to conceal. Furthermore, the topic of the videos and this FOIA were discussed with Plaintiff’s attorney in open court in December, so he is aware of no “concealment” by the City. 

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