VOICES: Community reacts to Owensby arrest

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Clifford Owensby, a paraplegic man, was forcibly removed from his vehicle during a traffic stop. The police body cam footage of the incident has since gone viral and rekindled a national discussion on policing. Here are some local reactions to the incident.

Mike Peters



Letter to the Editor

I read the Dayton Daily News story on Mr. Owensby being forcibly removed from his vehicle following a traffic stop and an ongoing narcotics investigation. I reviewed some of the national news feeds. It is an unfortunate occurrence.

If one delves into Mr. Owensby’s history, you will quickly find out that he is a career drug and weapons violator. His conviction record dates back to 2002. The Montgomery County Clerk of Court’s website is replete with a history of his convictions.

Owensby set the tenor of the interaction and it was his actions that led to him being removed from the vehicle. Despite being asked numerous times to exit the vehicle, he refused to cooperate or inform the officers on how to assist him and instead placed phone calls urging others to come to his aid with cameras to record the incident he was setting up.

Common sense would tell even the leftist liberals and police department critics that Owensby got into the vehicle; he ought to be able to get out, or at least tell us how to assist him in doing so. No chance. Owensby had no intention of exiting.

And what about the drug-tainted $22,450 on the floor of his vehicle?

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley’s premature comment on the incident failed to show any support for the police. Her departure as Mayor next year will give Dayton a chance at fresh leadership.

I was raised in a different era; one with a respect for authority, addressing elders with “yes sir” or “no ma’am”, holding doors open for others, standing for law, order and justice. I make attempts to comply with reasonable requests from others. I only hope that the drug investigation, perhaps involving Owensby, is ongoing and if he is culpable, he is charged.

The officers involved are welcome to patrol my neighborhood anytime.

Jeff Peterson, Dayton

Facebook Comments

Nothing about this stop justifies the use of violent force. There were no arms in the vehicle and the driver offered no threat of violence. The officers could have waited for higher authority but some people who wear badges have fragile egos when their authority is questioned. - Ray Landis

A paraplegic with no wheelchair in the back seat? And the cops were just supposed to believe him? When he fell down when being pulled out of the car, maybe they should have stopped. Even better, he should have complied; he didn’t. Before you criticize me, I am disabled. I have been arrested twice. Both times I did as told, no problem. Do as you are asked, chances are things will go better - Rob Cook

You know what? If I had $22.5k of drug money sitting on the front seat of my car, I’m sure I’d also refuse a command by an officer to exit the vehicle. But let’s be honest, paraplegic or not, the guy was stubbornly refusing to cooperate, locking his hands on the steering wheel to prevent the officers from removing him from the vehicle. Anyone defending the guy is essentially defending an uncooperative drug lord who was refusing to cooperate with a lawful command by police. -Patrick Roach

If they saw him leaving a “drug house” they would have seen this man was disabled! They knew he wouldn’t be able to comply with stepping out the vehicle! Secondly, why does it matter how much money he keeps on him? If he was of another race this would have not come into question! The point of the matter is nothing was found! And to all the Americans... what happened to being innocent until proven guilty? Or is that only when your pale skin is involved? - Shaniqua Scroggins

According to the FOP: “The officers followed the law, their training and departmental policies and procedures.” They absolutely did not follow the law. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, law enforcement must provide reasonable accommodations when they arrest or detain individuals with disabilities. This man made it clear that he had a disability. A reasonable accommodation is not, “You have no choice” followed by picking up a paraplegic and slamming him onto the ground. - Margaret Murray Davis