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Who Is Clifford Owensby? Disabled Black Man Dragged Out of Car by Police

Body camera footage shows Clifford Owensby, a paraplegic Black man who would not exit his vehicle at a traffic stop in Dayton, Ohio, being dragged out from the car and onto the road by police.

Owensby was pulled out of his car during the traffic stop on September 30, in the 1200 block of West Grand Avenue.

Footage of the encounter was initially captured by a bystander who filmed it from across the street. Police body camera footage was then obtained by WHIO TV through a public records request.

In the footage, after police try to stop him, Owensby says: “I’m paraplegic. I got help getting in.”

Being paraplegic means that you are affected by paralysis of the legs and lower body, and therefore cannot walk.

“Well, I’ll help you get out,” the officer replies.

“Well, I don’t think that’s going to happen, sir,” Owensby says.

“I’m asking you but I’m telling you, so it’s not an option,” the officer said.

The officer tells Owensby that due to his history, which includes drug and weapons charges, they are going to get a police dog to smell the vehicle and Owensby must exit the car.

Owensby resists and sends a message to someone on his phone and threatens to bring a lawsuit if the police officer touches him for no reason.

“We going to get some people here who are about to witness what is going on,” Owensby says.

He continues to resist and makes a call to get someone to come down to the scene and record the incident.

After more arguing, the police drag him out of the car by his dreadlocks, while Owensby repeatedly shouts “somebody help!” and the police repeatedly shout “stop” and “you’re making it so much harder than it has to be.”

Owensby said he was injured from the incident, having sustained scrapes from the sidewalk and is still in pain. After he was yanked from his vehicle, he was handcuffed by police who then placed him into the back of their car.

“I feel like they don’t even respect me as a citizen,” Owensby told Dayton Daily News after the incident.

On Monday, the interim chief of Dayton Police Department and Dayton’s city manager promised a thorough review of the encounter.

Newsweek has contacted the City of Dayton for comment on the review.

On Wednesday, a Dayton City Commission candidate Shenise Turner-Sloss called for an external review of the incident.

“What we’re talking about is that an individual’s civil rights were violated, again. My voice has been consistent,” Turner-Sloss told WHIO.

In 2015, Owensby was called to court on drug abuse, hidden compartments/vehicle, weapons under disability, firearms in motor vehicle, as well speed charges, according to the Springfield News Sun.

A stock image of U.S police. Body camera footage shows Clifford Owensby, a paraplegic black man who would not exit his vehicle at a traffic stop in Drayton, Ohio, being dragged out from the car and onto the road by police.
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