The Dayton, Ohio, police department is under investigation after officers were seen on video interacting with a man who is paraplegic and forcibly removing him from his vehicle by his hair after he declined officers’ requests.
Last weekend Dayton police pulled this man over for a traffic stop and insisted on bringing in a dog to search his car. They ordered the man out of the car. The problem is this man is a paraplegic, doesn’t bother cops though, they drag him out onto the ground and cuff him anyway pic.twitter.com/NauApxMzc2
— 🥀_Imposter_🕸️ (@Imposter_Edits) October 6, 2021
According to the Dayton Daily News, the man, identified as Clifford Owensby, said officers placed him on the ground, threw handcuffs on him and placed him in the backseat of a police car while backup came with a K-9 to search his vehicle. Owensby told the outlet the experience made him feel helpless.
“I feel like they don’t even respect me as a citizen,” Owensby said.
He also said he sustained injuries during the altercation, including several scratches and scrapes. In addition, he says he thinks officers reinjured a previous back wound.
Another angle of the interaction caught by a bystander from across the street has also begun circulating on social media.
The body camera footage spans 11 minutes and shows two officers approaching Owensby and testing the tint on his windows when they noticed a child in the backseat without a car seat. The officer goes back to the patrol car before returning to ask Owensby to step out of the vehicle.
Owensby informs the officer that he can’t due to being paraplegic. The officer offers to assist him out of the vehicle, but Owensby refuses. At which point, Owensby asked the officer to call his superior.
From there, the officer proceeded to forcibly remove him from the vehicle.
The Dayton police department released a statement following the incident, saying that the professional standards bureau would be conducting an investigation.
“The investigation will include the review of any policies and training when encountering these situations. Detectives from the Professional Standards Bureau have already interviewed the driver in the video,” the statement read.
“We ask the public to please be patient while all of the facts are gathered so we may have a clear understanding of what occurred and why in order to make informed decisions and continue to improve services,” the statement continued.
Dayton 24/7 reports, Dayton Police Interim Chief Matt Carper said that the police are “committed to transparency and accountability to the public as well as our core values of professionalism, integrity, respect, and fairness.”
A 30-year veteran of the Dayton Police Department and former Sinclair Criminal Justice Training Leader William Parsons also looked into the situation, analyzing the body camera footage to determine if anything outside of regular protocol took place. While he noted it was strange that officers didn’t immediately call for their superiors when asked, he said the department would be conducting a review of practices.
“We’re going to look at training, we’re going to look at policy and procedure they’re going to look at the law and make sure what the officers did was consistent with their training, the policies, and procedures of the police department and the law at the time,” Parsons told the outlet.
Police later said they recovered $22,450 from the vehicle and that the department is conducting an investigation into the funds.