DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton NAACP held a press conference on Sunday concerning the incident between Clifford Owensby and a Dayton Police Officer.
Clifford Owensby then spoke about his experience with the Dayton Police officers.
Owensby said that he repeatedly asked for a supervisor to take control of the situation.
“I’m yelling and pleading, ‘I’m a paraplegic, Ya’ll can hurt me, can you please call a White Shirt.,'” he said.
The officers proceeded to drag him from his car to the back of the police cruiser. Owensby said he was finally allowed to ask a supervisor to look at the injuries and have him taken to a hospital.
From the hospital, Owensby said he was brought directly to jail, where the officers were told they could not accept Owensby due to his condition. Owensby then said the officers left him at the jail, with no options other than to call a ride back to his car.
Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit of the NAACP said, “We’re not talking about his past. We’re not talking about the activity by which the officer was conducting the search or drug activity. We’re talking about this incident and how the incident was handled.”
Foward emphasized that the NAACP does not condone illegal activity. However, he said, there is a problem with conducting a search on a citizen who has not done anything wrong without reading him his Miranda rights.
Other speakers included Criminal Justice Chair Rev. Dr. David Fox, speaking on the correct process for arrests and Mattie White who spoke on the NAACP’s eight-step strategy for mental health.
Some of the suggestions in this strategy include:
- Training officers in how to deal with mental health issues
- Access to mental health providers
- Training officers in proper arrest, search and encounter procedures
- Training in de-escalation
“We, as a city that’s on the verge right now of looking for the next police chief, we need to make certain that we have a chief of police in place that would have at least called this man, called our client to check on his well being,” said Foward.
Foward said that Owensby has obtained legal counsel.