NAACP president, community members call for apology, action in Owensby case

The president of the Dayton Unit NAACP and other community members renewed Wednesday their calls for the city to apologize to Clifford Owensby, a paraplegic man who police yanked from his vehicle during a traffic stop.

During the public comment portion of the city commission meeting on Wednesday night, Dayton Unit NAACP President Derrick Foward said Owensby deserves a clear apology from city and police leaders, and the police officers involved in the incident need sensitivity training.

“We (the NAACP) are working directly with (Owensby’s) attorney, and other steps will be taken,” he said. “But my hope is this evening that someone exercises leadership and has a conversation with Mr. Owensby this evening.”

Two other community members who spoke called for an outside and independent investigation into the incident and said the officers involved should be disciplined and fired.

Following their comments, Dayton City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild said: “As always, I appreciate the citizens who come and make comments to the commission, and while we may not address you directly from here, know that ongoing conversations and attention go to the issues that you raise.”

“While at times it feels like things move slow, we’re trying to work to address issues that you bring forward to us,” said Fairchild, who briefly talked with Owensby after the meeting.

Dayton’s Deputy Law Director John Musto said the city can’t comment because Owensby has filed a lawsuit against the city.

“The city does not discuss active litigation,” he said. “What I can say is Mr. Owensby’s matter is subject of a thorough investigation, both with the police department and there will be a thorough external investigation.”

Owensby filed a lawsuit against the city seeking the return of $22,000 that police seized during the traffic stop. His attorneys have said they expect to file additional litigation.

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