Ohio police drag paraplegic Black man out of car in body cam video

Footage shows Clifford Owensby telling officers numerous times that he's disabled during a traffic stop

Two police officers in Dayton, Ohio, are being scrutinized after they pulled a paraplegic man from his vehicle during a traffic stop. 

Body camera footage as well as cellphone footage from a bystander shows Clifford Owensby being dragged out of a car and onto the road by police. 

Clifford Owensby
Body camera footage as well as cellphone footage from a bystander shows Clifford Owensby being dragged out of a car and onto the road by police. (Photo: Dayton Police Department)

Owensby told News Center 7 he cannot walk after the Sept. 30 incident, and said he was out running errands without a wheelchair in the car. “I usually get assistance with getting in and out of the vehicle,” he said.

According to a local report, Owensby was stopped because his window tint was darker than the legal limit. Per body camera footage that was shared by the local outlet, responding officers told the man that because of his “history” of past drug and weapons convictions, he had to get out of the car. 

The footage shows that Owensby told the officers numerous times that he was paraplegic. 

“Sir, I’m going to assist you to get out of the vehicle,” the officer said.

“No, you’re not. No, you’re not. You’re not going to touch me,” Owensby replied. He then called someone from his cellphone asking them to come to witness the situation. “Bring cameras,” he said, before asking for a police supervisor. 

“Can you call your white shirt please?” Owensby is seen on video saying. The officer responds that he would call a supervisor once the man was out of the car. 

“You’re getting out of this car. So you can cooperate and get out of this car or I will drag you out of this car. Do you see your two options here?” he shouted to Owensby. Moments later the two officers pull the man from the car, at times, dragging him by his dreadlocks. 

He was arrested for obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

“I feel like they need to be training the officers to deal with disabled people in a more efficient manner,” Owensby told WHIO. “Treat them with respect.”

In a statement, the Dayton Police Interim Chief Matt Carper said the department’s Professional Standards Bureau is investigating the incident, “to include the officers’ actions and any allegations of misconduct.” 

Additionally, the city manager said that the department is committed “to completing a thorough review to ensure that we are held accountable to the public.”

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