Protestors gather at Dayton City Hall after controversial traffic stop involving man with disability

DAYTON — Ahead of Wednesday’s Dayton City Commission meeting, protesters gathered outside City Hall in a demonstration against Dayton police in response to the traffic stop incident involving a man who said he has a disability.

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Around 30 protestors gathered, calling for change and accountability for the department and officers involved in the Sept. 30 traffic stop with Clifford Owensby that was captured on video by witnesses and police body camera footage.

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

“No justice, no peace,” protestors chanted during the demonstration.

“I participated in the police reform group last year, and I did it because I was excited by the fact our city was going to take it seriously to ensure nothing like what happened to George Floyd, nothing like what happened to Breonna Taylor, nothing like what happened to Mike Brown all those years ago would ever happen in the City of Dayton,” Pastor Joshua Ward of the Omega Baptist Church said.

“We’re here because we want to hold out city to that promise. Because we want to hold our city to that assurance that they shared with us that Dayton would not be a city where people are treated differently, treated unfairly, treated unjustly by the police,” Ward said.

>>Dayton police release community incident briefing on controversial traffic stop

Video of the traffic stop has received both national and international attention as it shows officers forcibly remove Owesnby from his vehicle.

“Just think what would have happened if the cameras had not been on, we’re demanding these officers be terminated immediately,” Allyson Youngblood, member of the Dayton new Black Panther Party told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell.

The Sept. 30 incident started with police monitoring a suspected drug house in the 1900 block of West Grand Avenue. Police stopped Owensby’s car after it was spotted leaving the suspected house.

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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.

In Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said the review into the incident will take an additional four to six weeks.

In a previous statement, Dickstein said the police department is committed “to completing a thorough review to ensure that we are held accountable to the public.”

The Dayton Unit of the NAACP said a formal complaint has been field against the department “for profiling (Owensby), unlawful arrest and illegal search and seizure of his vehicle.”

“This is a total disregard for human life. The officers need to be held accountable,” Dayton Unit of the NAACP President Derrick Forward previously said in a statement.

This story will be updated as new details become available.

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