Disabled Man Dragged Out Of Car By Police Despite Shouting He Was A Paraplegic
A disabled man was dragged out of a car during a traffic stop by police in Ohio despite making it clear that he was a paraplegic.
On Thursday, September 30, Clifford Owensby was out running errands when he was pulled over at a traffic stop in Ohio.
The 39-year-old paraplegic was pulled over as his windows were too darkly tinted, and subsequently did not meet with state regulations.
Despite repeatedly telling officers he couldn’t leave the vehicle as he was disabled, Dayton police proceeded to drag him from his vehicle.
Owensby was subsequently handcuffed and dragged into a police car, WHIO reports.
Body camera footage has since been obtained that shows officers pulling over the paraplegic for his windows being tinted at 20%.
An officer can then be seen going towards Owensby and asking him to switch off his car engine and step out. He also says that it would be necessary for a dog to search the vehicle due to Owensby’s ‘history’, referring to prior drugs and weapons convictions.
Upon telling the officers that he was disabled and could not get out of the vehicle, officials offered to assist him, however Owensby refused, saying, ‘No, you’re not. No, you’re not. You’re not going to touch me.’
The video shows Owensby asking a passer-by to act as a witness to unfolding events, and requesting the member of the public ‘bring cameras’, before asking the officers for their supervisor.
Owensby told News Center that his request for a ‘white shirt’ was to make sure the ‘stop could be conducted in a decent manner’.
However, the officer in the video said that while he would call the ‘white shirt’, Owensby had to get out of the car, as remaining seated was ‘not an option’. He then threatened to ‘drag’ him out if he refused.
The video then shows two officers dragging Owensby from the vehicle, despite being told that they were hurting him and the man shouting for help.
Owensby commented that he felt like their decision to manhandle him was wrong, and said he ‘couldn’t believe’ it was happening at the time.
The incident in now being investigated by the department’s Professional Standards Bureau, according to a statement made on Monday by Interim Chief Matt Carper.
The investigation will ‘include the officer’s actions and any allegations of misconduct’, with Carper promising transparency.
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein noted in a separate statement that the team will complete ‘a thorough review to ensure that [they] are held accountable to the public’.
Owensby has already been interviewed, according to Carper, but he hopes that the investigation will promote a change in how officers deal with such circumstances. Owensby hopes that officers will be trained to learn to ‘deal with disabled people in a more efficient manner’ and how to ‘treat them with respect’.
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