LIMA — The Lima NAACP continues its fight against alleged police abuse.
At a news conference, Saturday at Grace Church Ministries, chapter President Ronald Fails brought to the media’s attention two cases they want the public to know about.
In one, Deborah Odom, 61, a white woman from Lima, was allegedly dragged from her car by Lima police officers. Previous knee and leg problems she suffered from were allegedly made worse by the officer’s actions, she claims.
That incident occurred on May 29, 2018 in the 1100 block of East Franklin Street in Lima.
Odom was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and obstruction of official business, both misdemeanor charges of the second degree.
A police report indicated that Odom and her son Rickey Odom confronted Lillian Stephens for selling Deborah fake pills. She had purchased $300 in pills [Percocet] from Stephens a few days before the incident. She claimed they didn’t work and wanted her money back. That’s when a fight ensued with Deborah Odom pepper spraying everyone and Rickey Odom pulling a knife out of his pocket.
When officers arrived, they observed Odom screaming in the middle of the street. Officers told her to get back into her car, but she refused. Eventually, she did comply but then exited the vehicle and began to yell and taunt officers. They told her to pull her vehicle to the south side of the road while they issued a parking ticket to her for parking facing traffic. Odom exited her vehicle twice and approached officers while they filled out the parking ticket.
After the ticket was handed out she was told to leave the area, but instead, she turned her car around and drove back in front of the two homes, yelling at the residents and officers.
An officer then told Odom she was under arrest for persistent disorderly conduct. She tried to drive away but another officer reached in through the passenger door and put the vehicle in park. Odom was ordered out of the vehicle but she refused, holding onto the steering wheel. Two officers then grabbed a hold of Odom’s arm and pulled her out of the car. Officers reported that Odom threw herself to the ground. She was then placed in handcuffs.
“I have 15 screws and a rod that comes up in my ankle that was done two years ago. I have double knee replacements. When I was pulled out of my car, I sustained an injury of there was approximately three screws that was loosened up out of my knee and I seen Dr. O’Neil which passed me on to Dr. Patterson, and Dr. Patterson mentioned I can not have a third knee replacement because if I do, it would literally crack my leg in half and cripple me,” said Odom.
The other incident Fails wanted the people to know about involved a UNOH student, Dontez Pryor.
This incident happened just before midnight Monday at an apartment complex on Brower Road.
Someone reported that Pryor and an unnamed friend were armed with a gun and were possessing drugs.
Pryor’s mother, Darice Pryor, said at the news conference his friend had a “gun knife,” a knife that is shaped like a gun. Dontez Pryor was not charged in the incident, whereas his friend was, but he did feel the treatment they received was not called for.
“They told us, ‘Just get down.’ They didn’t read us our rights or nothing. They pulled guns out on us. One of the officers stepped on my dude’s back or whatever. He got on top of me out of nowhere,” said Dontez Pryor.
“Somebody is going to end up getting shot,” said Fails.
“I thought it was going to be my child,” added Darice Pryor.
Fails is frustrated that police still don’t have body cameras to document each incident.
“This is why we put emphasis on the request. [Lima Police] Chief [Kevin Martin], put cameras on these officers and quit giving us excuses,” said Fails.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.