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.
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.
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.
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.