- Body camera footage shows a man with paraplegia being manhandled by police officers in Dayton, Ohio.
- The video shows Clifford Owensby, who is unable to walk, being pulled out of his vehicle by his hair.
- Dayton Police Department’s chief said in a statement that it could “do better.”
Disturbing body camera footage has emerged of Ohio police officers dragging a paraplegic man out of his car by his hair and throwing him to the ground, video obtained by WH IO News shows.
Clifford Owensby, a Black man with disabilities, was driving in Dayton, Ohio, on 30 September when police stopped him, according to the Independent.
In the footage, a police officer can be heard telling Owensby to get out of his car. “I can’t step outside the car, sir. I’m a paraplegic,” Owensby replies. “I got help getting in.”
—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 8, 2021
A police officer then offers to help him out of the car, but Owensby replies: “I don’t think that’s going to happen, sir.” The officer later proceeds to tell him that “it’s not an option.”
In the footage, Owensby repeatedly tells the police officers that he cannot get out of his vehicle because of his disabilities and threatens the officers with a lawsuit if they put their hands on him for “no reason.”
He then calls someone and asks them to “bring some people with cameras” to witness the altercation.
In the video, the police officer tells Owensby that he “can cooperate and get out of this car” or they would “drag” him out of the vehicle. “Do you see these two options here?” the officer says.
The footage then shows police officers grabbing him by his arm before pulling him out of the vehicle by his hair. As he falls to the ground, Owensby begins to scream in pain. “Somebody help, somebody help,” he can be heard saying.
The police officer accuses Owensby of “making this worse than it needs to be” before attempting to handcuff him.
The clip finishes with footage of Owensby being dragged down the street by his arms and a police officer throwing his shoes into his vehicle.
According to the Independent, the Dayton Police Department says it is investigating the incident.
In a statement shared on the department’s Twitter, Dayton’s chief of police said that “upcoming training for all Dayton Police Officers and Supervisors will include diversity, equity, and inclusion, de-escalation, bias-free policing, and procedural justice.”
—Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) October 7, 2021
“We need to do better,” the statement continues. “And this can be done by further developing the mutual respect and accountability necessary to make our City safer.”