Dayton FOP defends traffic stop involving man with disability as commissioners face more questions

DAYTON — Dayton City Commissioners faced another round of public questions and demands for police reforms in the wake of a controversial traffic stop involving a man with a disability.

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Community leaders and citizens posed many questions and statements to city commissioners during their scheduled meeting Wednesday night about the arrest of Clifford Owensby during a traffic stop that was caught on video by witnesses and police body-worn cameras. Citizens have voiced concerns and have demanded reforms, and commissioner said they are working on it.

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“It’s difficulty work. In order to implement it correctly, it requires time,” Chris Shaw Dayton City Commissioner said during public questions.

“The incident that we saw with Mr. Owensby made me have a sense that needed commit again to doing the work and I felt a renewed sense of urgency to do the work,” he said.

>>Dayton NAACP, Clifford Owensby speak about Dayton police traffic incident

Community members agreed, but said the process isn’t happening quickly enough.

“I want you to respond to our demands. Do not tell me there is nothing members of this commission can do. I know there are things you can do,” an unnamed citizen said during the meeting.

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Meanwhile, the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police posted a new video Wednesday in response to the growing discussion on the traffic stop. Derric McDonald, Dayton FOP Vice President said he believes the full video of the incident and investigation will show the officers acted properly and repeatedly offered to help Owensby out of the car so a K-9 could search it.

“Police officers do not want to be put in these types of situations, but when people repeatedly refuse to cooperate regardless of their circumstances, officers can’t just walk away and drop it, because a suspect doesn’t want to be searched or arrested,” McDonald said.

A statement from Dayton FOP 44 VP Derric McDonald.

Posted by Dayton FOP on Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In previous statements, the FOP added the officers “followed the law, their training and departmental policies and procedures.”

Community leaders have issued further demands to city and police leaders, including suspending the officers involved in the incident without pay, a public apology from the officers and Dayton’s Interim Police Chief Matt Carper, an independent investigation into Owensby’s arrest, and for an immediate implementation of police reforms put forth by reform groups working with the city and department.

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The Sept. 30 traffic stop has gained national and international attention. Police stopped Owensby during an investigation of a suspected drug house on West Grand Avenue after officers said they saw the car leave the house.

Body camera video showed officers asking Owensby to exit his car so that K-9 officers could safely conduct an “air-sniff” search. Owensby said he could not because he was paraplegic.

Owensby refused the officers’ offer to assist him out of his car.

“No you’re not. No you’re not. You’re not going to touch me,” the video shows, Owensby said.

Officers then forcibly removed Owensby from the car, handcuffed him and drug him into a police cruiser.