According to body cameras, an investigation is underway after Ohio police pulled a man out of a vehicle and dragged him into a police car, though the man repeatedly said his legs were of no use. Video released on Friday.
Clifford Owensby was stopped in Dayton on 30 September after officers saw him leaving a “suspected drug house”. After he was intercepted, police requested a K-9 narcotics search because of Owensby’s “felony drug and weapon history,” police said in a statement.
According to police, the department’s policy requires occupants to leave the vehicle during a “free-air sniff,” when the K-9 moves around the vehicle to smell illegal narcotics.
Body camera footage released by the department showed officers getting inside the car with Owensby. An officer tells Owensby to get out of the car and Owensby says, “I can’t get out of the car, sir. I’m a paralytic.”
When an officer offered to help him get out of the vehicle, Owensby reiterated that he couldn’t get out of the car, adding that “if you put your hands on me for no reason there will be a lawsuit.”
During a conversation with the officer, Owensby called someone and asked them to bring the cameras. “What’s up,” the bodycam video shows. Owensby also tells the officer to call his supervisor.
The officer then instructed Owensby to get out of the car again and said, “You’re getting out of this car. So you can cooperate and get out of the car, or I’ll drag you out of the car.” Do you see your car here two options?”
Officers then drag Owensby out of the car by his arms and hair, while Owensby screams, the video shows. In a statement, police said Owensby “grabbed the steering wheel” of the car he was in.
Police handcuffed Owensby kneeling on his back and dragged him into the police car. Owensby is heard screaming for help as officers pull him over.
Police said Owensby was placed on the ground “to protect him”.
Dayton Police said in a statement that Owensby was taken to hospital, examined and released. Police said the investigation into the incident was launched on October 1.
“We understand that this incident has caused great emotional reactions in the community in Dayton, Ohio, and we ask for your patience as we are fully investigating this incident,” the statement said.
The newspaper reported that a police report cited misdemeanors as obstructing official business and resisting arrest, but Owensby was not charged with either.
“I feel like they don’t even respect me as a citizen,” Owensby told the newspaper.
Matt Carper, the interim director and chief of the Police Department, said Friday that upcoming training for all Dayton officers and supervisors will include diversity, equity and inclusion as well as disengagement, bias-free policing and procedural justice.
“We need to do better, and this can be done by further developing mutual respect and accountability to make our city safe,” Carper said.
Contribution: Associated Press