Owensby responded by asking for a supervisor, at which point two officers started pulling his arms to physically remove him from the car, all while Owensby had a 3-year-old child with him in the car. “I’m a paraplegic, bro, you can hurt me!” Owensby yelled.
Police said in their version of what happened: “As the officers began to remove him from the vehicle, Owensby grabbed onto the steering wheel, in an attempt to prevent the officers from removing him from the vehicle. He was then forcibly removed from the vehicle. Officers placed Owensby on the ground in order to secure him. Officers had to pull his arms behind his back to handcuff him.” Video of the incident shows Owensby yelling for help and asking witnesses to record the detainment.
Owensby was eventually cuffed, taken to an area hospital, and released. He was cited for utilizing a window tint that was too dark and for carrying a child without a car seat. Other allegations police tried to stick Owensby with—obstructing official business and resisting arrest—did not lead to charges, according to Dayton Daily News.
The local police union defended the officers’ actions. “The officers followed the law, their training and departmental policies and procedures,” Jerome Dix, president of Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #44, said in a statement Dayton Daily News obtained. “Sometimes the arrest of noncompliant individuals is not pretty, but is a necessary part of law enforcement to maintain public safety, which is one of the fundamental ideologies of our society.”
The Dayton Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau is investigating the incident and plans to release the results when the investigation is complete, NPR reported. Officials said the K-9 unit alerted them to a bag with $22,450 inside of it that had been near illegal drugs. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told NPR the video of police interaction “is very concerning … That is why, immediately following this incident, the city released the body camera footage. Everyone involved is owed a thorough investigation, and one is already underway,” the mayor said.
Owensby has also launched a complaint with the Dayton Unit of the NAACP, President Derrick Foward told The Washington Post on Saturday. “To pull this man out of the car, by his hair — a paraplegic — is totally unacceptable, inhumane and sets a bad light on our great city of Dayton, Ohio,” Foward said.