DAYTON — The Dayton Chapter of the NAACP is speaking out after a recent Dayton Police encounter where two officers forcibly pulled Clifford Owensby, who reported being disabled, from his car and dragged him to a police cruiser.
The incident happened Sept. 30 during a traffic stop. In a community briefing of the incident on Friday, Dayton police said officers were on patrol, monitoring a suspected drug house on the 1900 block of West Grand Avenue.
Police stopped Owensby’s car after it was spotted leaving the suspected drug 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.
On Sunday, Dayton NAACP president Derrick Forward announced Owensby filed a complaint with the organization against the department “for profiling him, unlawful arrest and illegal search and seizure of his vehicle.” Forward claimed, along with being forced from the car, Owensby was also not read his Miranda Rights before being taken to jail.
“This is a total disregard for human life. The officers need to be held accountable,” Forward said.
Speaking at the press conference, Owensby said the incident was “inhumane.”
“[They had] no respect for me, no regard for my well-being,” Owensby said.
Mattie White spoke about the NAACP’s eight-point strategy for mental health. In that strategy, White talked about the organization’s recommendation for proper training of officers in the “police department’s policies and procedures, as well as training of the mechanics of arresting someone, conducting search and seizures and their operations of when officers likely suspects or individuals.”
White said that training should be for all recruits and trainees in the police academy. Additionally, White suggested the training be an ongoing practice within the department.
On Friday, Jerome Dix, president of Dayton FOP Lodge #44, released a statement in defense of the officers saying they “followed the law, their training and departmental policies and procedures.”
Dayton police have promised a complete and thorough investigation into the incident.
Owensby has gotten legal counsel.
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