Video shows Clifford Owensby speak with Dayton police officials after arrest

Clifford Owensby is shown by police cruiser cam in back of a Dayton police cruiser after being arrested.
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Clifford Owensby is shown by police cruiser cam in back of a Dayton police cruiser after being arrested.

A Dayton police sergeant told a Black paraplegic man who had been yanked from a vehicle by two officers minutes earlier that police are allowed to remove people from their vehicle when they are not cooperating, according to video released by the Dayton Police Department Wednesday.

Clifford Owensby, 39, of Dayton can be seen in the video sitting in the back of a Dayton Police cruiser minutes after he was pulled from his vehicle and complaining about the way he was treated.

“I was trying to get your assistance before they snatched me out of my vehicle, well the vehicle I was driving and embarrass me and beat me up in front of the public,” Owensby tells the sergeant. “I was just trying to get some help before they got aggressive...”

ExploreTimeline: How the Clifford Owensby incident with Dayton police unfolded, became national news

The arrest of Owensby has made national headlines and he stormed out of the Dayton City Commission meeting last week demanding that Dayton Police release more videos of the Sept. 30 incident. The Dayton Daily News used a public information request to obtain the police body camera videos.

In the newly released video, Owensby can be seen addressing the money that was found in the vehicle during the traffic stop. Police said more than $22,000 was found inside. Owensby says that he owns a building, collects rent money and runs businesses. He said the money was savings.

Later in the video, the encounter with the sergeant begins. The commander asks Owensby to tell his version of events and Owensby tells him that he was pulled over because officers said his window tint was too dark and after that they asked for his ID. He said he gave him his ID and they came back to the car and asked him to shut the vehicle off and Owensby asked why .

Owensby says that the officers brought up his background and he asked him to step out of the car.

“I told him I can’t step out the car, I’m a paraplegic,” Owensby said.

Owensby said the officers told him that they were going to help him out of the car and he told them that they weren’t going to touch him.

“I got help getting into the car and all that, so I’m letting them know and I’m standing my ground and they just snatch me by my (expletive) hair and everything, dragged me out the car, legs and everything going every which way and it’s just (expletive) unfair,” Owensby says.

The sergeant responds to Owensby complaint by saying:

“Let me explain something to you, and you may not like the way this going to sound, but we are allowed to remove people from their vehicle. There’s case law from the Supreme Court,” the sergeant said.

“What if y’all would have broke my legs or something? They just (expletive) snatched me out anyway,” Owensby says. “They didn’t care how I landed on the ground or nothing. I told them.”

Owensby raises his voice and says that he is frustrated and the sergeant tells him that he is trying to have a conversation with him.

Owensby then knocks his head against the headrest, begins to cry and shouts “why” five times.

“I want to have a conversation with you so we can resolve potential issues,” the sergeant says.

“There’s nothing to resolve,” Owensby says. “They already ... it was inhumane what they just did.”

The sergeant helps Owensby sit back up and Owensby complains about the handcuffs. He then screams as the officer readjusts him in the seat.

The sergeant told Owensby the incident with the officers would be reviewed.

Other videos released by the Dayton Police include the body camera of the other officer who removed Owensby from the vehicle. The video shows the officer searching Owensby’s vehicle and finding a bag full of money. It also shows him finding cable boxes inside the car.

The videos released also include the officers counting the money on the hood of a police cruiser, taking Owensby to the Montgomery County jail and they show an officer helping Owensby into another vehicle at the Dayton Public Safety Building when he is released.

The incident between Owensby and the police was captured on several videos including body cameras and one video filmed by a bystander that went viral over a period of days.

Protests have taken place as a result of the footage with protesters saying the officers used excessive force against a disabled man. The National Urban League has called for the officers involved to be dismissed and prosecuted.

The NAACP Dayton Unit said the traffic stop illustrated the need for police reforms and more officer training when encountering people with mental health and other disability issues.

ExploreDayton FOP critical of elected officials’ reaction to arrest of Clifford Owensby

Meanwhile, the Dayton FOP has defended the officers, saying that Owensby was non-compliant.

“Police officers repeatedly offered to help Mr. Owensby after he shared that he is paralyzed,” Dayton FOP Vice President Derric McDonald said in the statement Wednesday. “Five times they asked him to allow them to help him out of the vehicle before warning him that their only choice was to remove him by force.”

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