Officers examine site visitors obstruction of a paraplegic driver pulled from automobile by officers – CBS Pittsburgh
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Officials in Dayton, Ohio say they are investigating the actions of officers dragging a driver from his car who said he was pulled out of his car during a drug-related traffic stop last month.
Clifford Owensby, 39, who said he cannot use his legs, said he felt helpless as he was taken to the floor from the car and handcuffed before stopping at 30 during traffic.
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Police said the two Dayton officers were part of a narcotics investigation in the Dayton View neighborhood and saw the car exit a suspected drug house. For this reason, and the “driver’s drug and gun story”, a K-9 team was called in for an “open air sniff” during which inmates exit the vehicle according to the department’s guidelines for their safety and that of the dog, the police had to be called.
Owensby said he couldn’t get out because he was paraplegic and refused to help, police said. He then “grabbed the steering wheel … (and) was then forcibly removed from the vehicle,” said the police.
Police bodycam footage shows Owensby repeatedly telling officers he was unable to get out of the car because he was paraplegic, threatened to file a lawsuit, and called on someone to “bring some people with cameras” to record the interaction . On the floor he can be heard screaming for help, asking if people are taking pictures and asking someone to call “the real police”.
Police said Owensby was put on the ground “to secure him” and officers had to pull his arms behind his back to handcuff him, police said. A bag containing US $ 22,450 in cash was found in the front hall and the dog was alerted to the currency, meaning “the money had been in close proximity to illegal drugs,” police said.
The Dayton Daily News reported that a police report cited a crime in the crime status information that obstructed official business and resisted arrest, but Owensby had not been charged with any of the counts. Because of an unbridled 3-year-old child in the back seat and the tinted windows of the car, traffic reports were filed with the district court. Police previously told the newspaper that there was “an ongoing and active investigation into the money”.
Owensby told the newspaper Monday that he was scratched from the sidewalk and re-injured from a previous back problem.
“I feel like they don’t even respect me as a citizen,” said Owensby, adding that he hoped for “some kind of disciplinary process.”
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Police said an investigation into the traffic control by a standard professional bureau has begun and is asking the public to be patient during the process.
Matt Carper, the interim director and chief of police, said Friday that upcoming training for all Dayton officials and supervisors will include diversity, justice and inclusion, as well as de-escalation, biased policing and procedural justice.
“We have to do better, and this can be achieved by developing mutual respect and accountability to make our city safer,” said Carper.
Mayor Nan Whaley said in a statement Friday evening that the video was “very worrying”.
“No matter where you live or what you look like, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect when dealing with the Dayton Police Department,” she said. “Dayton remains committed to our ongoing community-led police reform process and provides transparency in situations like this.”
The Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 44 defended the officers, saying they “followed the law, their training, and the departments’ policies and procedures,” the newspaper reported.
“Sometimes arresting non-compliant people is not nice, but it is a necessary part of law enforcement to ensure public safety, which is one of the fundamental ideologies of our society,” President Jerome Dix said in a statement.
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