The white woman was trying to be a good samaritan when she called police on a black man entering his car and driving away in a suburban Chicago town, thinking he had stolen it.
But Lawrence Crosby owned the Chevrolet and figured he would drive to a local police station in Evanston to prove it after realizing the woman was following him.
The 25-year-old engineering doctorate student from Northwestern University was accustomed to being profiled because of his race as he revealed in a phone conversation with a friend recorded by his dash cam that evening on October 10, 2015.
But the woman who remained on the phone with Evanston police as she followed him insisted she was not racially profiling. She just found it suspicious that a black man with a hoodie appeared to be using some type of bar to jimmy the car door open.
“I don’t know if I’m racial profiling,” the woman said in a conversation to the dispatcher as she followed him. “I feel bad.”
Crosby, in fact, had been trying to fix the moulding on the roof of his car, but it was dark. And he was dark.
And although many white people don’t like to admit it, racial profiling does takes place on the streets of the United States daily. Even police officers admit it. Black police officers, that is.
“You know how it is with black people,” Crosby said in his phone conversation with his friend. “They think we’re always trying to do something wrong.”
Evanston police eventually pulled up behind him and flashed their lights, signaling for him to pull over.
Crosby quickly pulled into a parking lot of a church – two blocks from the Evanston Police Department – then stepped out with his hands in the air, his cell phone in his left hand as the cops began yelling “hands up!”.