Authorities in Dayton, Ohio are investigating a violent encounter between officers and a Black paraplegic man following a traffic stop in late September.
According to local news outlets, officers approached Clifford Owensby on Sept. 30 and obtained his license and information. After coming across past records of his drug use, the officers reportedly asked him to step out of the vehicle so they could conduct a free air smell test. Upon the request, the disabled man informed cops that he was unable to move because he was a paraplegic and refused officers’ offer to help him out of the car.
“No you’re not. No you’re not. You don’t touch me,” Owensby said, according to body camera footage later obtained by cops. “You’re definitely not about to touch me.” He threatened to file a lawsuit in the event that officers placed their hands on him and requested that a superior be called to the scene.
“Here’s the thing, I’m going to pull you out and then I’ll call a white shirt,” the officer responded, per the footage. “Because you’re getting out of the car. That’s not an option. You’re getting out this car, so you can cooperate and get out of the car or I will drag you out of the car. Do you see your two options here?” Moments later, the Black man was violently yanked right out of his car and handcuffed.
Owensby reportedly sustained scrapes and injured his back again following a previous injury. He was later cited in Dayton Municipal Court with traffic citations for child restraint or seat belt and tinted glass.
Per the Dayton police, the traffic stop was part of a drug investigation. They are working alongside detectives from the Professional Standards Bureau to determine whether the involved cops violated any policies during the encounter.
“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,” Dayton police said in a statement. They promised to conduct a thorough and transparent probe, noting the results will be shared at a later time.