Owensby storms out of Dayton commission meeting as protests call for change

Clifford Owensby bumps fists with Bishop Richard Cox before Wednesday's Dayton City Commission meeting. Cox and others called on the city to suspend and fire the officers who pulled Owensby from his vehicle during a traffic stop last month. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Caption
Clifford Owensby bumps fists with Bishop Richard Cox before Wednesday's Dayton City Commission meeting. Cox and others called on the city to suspend and fire the officers who pulled Owensby from his vehicle during a traffic stop last month. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A paraplegic man who was pulled out of a vehicle by Dayton police during an incident that has gained national attention stormed out of a Dayton City Commission meeting this morning after citizens publicly called for police to apologize and the officers involved to be suspended and fired.

Credit: CORNELUIS FROLIK

Caption
Clifford Owensby at Dayton City Commission meeting

Credit: CORNELUIS FROLIK

About nine community members spoke during the commission meeting to urge the city to suspend the officers who forcibly removed Clifford Owensby from his vehicle last month. The incident was caught on cell phone video and on police body cameras, and it went viral on social media.

After they were done speaking, Mayor Nan Whaley told the audience that the video was incredibly painful to watch.

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She said she was glad community members came to share their concerns with the commission --- which prompted someone in the audience to yell out that the city should then fire the officers involved.

Whaley said the city has been transparent and released the body camera video because of ongoing police reform efforts; acquiring and deploying body cameras was one of the recommendations.

But after she said that, Owensby, who was sitting in the front row, shouted: “You should have put out the truth then! Everybody deserves to see the rest of that video and everything that happened in the back of that cruiser.”

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As he exited, Owensby yelled out, “I’m out of here. … They wanted to set me up. They wouldn’t listen to me.”

Minutes earlier, Whaley declared one speaker, Christopher Lockett, out of order, after he continued talking when his time was up.

Community members are given three minutes each to address the commission.

Lockett told the commission he and too many other community members have been mistreated by the criminal justice system.

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“I personally know this paraplegic man and his family, and I’m telling you now they’re not bad people,” he said. “So there’s no excuse why he was dragged in the streets like the video showed.”

After being declared out of order, Lockett yelled, “Just look at me. Do you see me? Acknowledge me, then.”

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