FERRELVIEW, Mo. — Citizens of a small village in central Platte County have started to organize in an effort to remove their chief of police.
On Saturday, May 21, many of those with concerns held a meeting at the clubhouse of the North Creek Village subdivision just outside the Village of Ferrelview, located along Interstate 435 with a population of about 450. The outrage slowly swelled and has started to spill over with questions surrounding the actions of officer Daniel Clayton during his short tenure leading the village’s small police force.
One citizen said he was placed in handcuffs and removed of his service weapon during a routine traffic stop. Another citizen said Clayton recently filed for a protection order against her for unknown reasons after she and her boyfriend received multiple traffic violations from him. A Ferrelview resident said she spent the night in a Platte County jail cell because of a failure to obey a lawful order charge.
All three stories were detailed during interviews The Citizen recently conducted. The head of Ferrelview’s Board of Trustees had yet to respond to a request for comment at deadline.
Allegations of police misuse of force continued as Dennis Rowland, a practicing attorney from Kansas City, fielded questions over the municipal legal system at Saturday’s meeting. The lecture-style meeting covered a variety of topics, ranging from civil rights violations to how to disincorporate a municipality, but the nearly 30 community members in attendance spent the majority of three hours discussing their concerns with traffic tickets Clayton issued.
“There’s a lot of issues to discuss, and I can’t cover them all,” said Dennis Rowland, who was asked to lead the discussion over civil rights. “My intention is to listen to all of your complaints and present some of your options.”
All of this came after a recent contentious trustees meeting that saw citizens removed from city hall after Platte County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene at Clayton’s request.
That was the latest incident of citizens attempting to make their complaints heard.
The meeting on Tuesday, May 10 grew out of hand and ended up canceled. A spokesperson with the sheriff’s office confirmed that two different groups of deputies responded to the scene, but a full informational report on the incident had not yet been approved for release as of Tuesday, May 24.
Tara Borron, a Kansas City resident who later shared the story of her run-in with Clayton, said that the meeting was cancelled, following what she called an “overly forceful” removal of the public.
“When it was time for (the citizens) to speak … it did get a little out of hand,” Borron said. “People were starting to get mad and get a little bit angry. It got to the point that it was kind of getting out of hand.
“(The removal) was taken over the top. Platte County (deputies) were pushing people out the door. It wasn’t that out of hand, but (Clayton) made it seem like it was.”
Borron said at this point, the board said that they were done listening to people speak and cancelled the meeting.
Piecing together the complaints and separating the facts from rumor proves difficult.
Robert Rowland, a Lee’s Summit, Mo. resident, said Clayton pulled him over for failure to use a turn signal at an intersection. Although Robert Rowland disputes the allegation, he said he remained calm during the encounter only to end up in handcuffs.
“The first thing I do is roll down the window, put my hands out the window and say, ‘I’m an officer of the court, and I am armed,’” said Robert Rowland, owner of a company that serves legal documents to people in Kansas City, Mo. and the surrounding region. “Any time I’m dealing with law enforcement, that’s the first thing I tell them.”
Robert Rowland said that he was asked to step out of his vehicle, after being stripped of his service weapon. He said that he was placed in handcuffs, as Clayton finished writing his ticket.
Clayton then returned the weapon, which he had disassembled according to Robert Rowland.
“This is the first time I’ve ever gone to a city hall to complain about a particular officer for the way they handled the encounter,” Robert Rowland said, “and I was amazed that, when I went to that city hall meeting to make a statement about his behavior, that my one encounter with this guy mirrored everybody else’s.
“There is something seriously wrong with this city, and it starts with Mr. Clayton and it goes right to the top.”
Robert Rowland said during Saturday’s citizen meeting that Clayton admitted, at the recently canceled trustees meeting, to giving out more than 70 citations and 20 warnings for the previous month.
The concern about the number of traffic tickets given out was furthered during the meeting when Dennis Rowland presented what he claimed to be an annual financial report from Ferrelview. The report did not list the revenue received from fees and tickets, a practice, he said, the Missouri State Auditor requires.
Borron said that she and her boyfriend were recently presented orders of protection to stay away from Clayton, after they were involved in similar traffic incidents. Borron says she was served three citations involving two traffic stops over the span of four or five days.
During one of these stops, Borron’s boyfriend was recording the incident with his phone. After Clayton asked Borron to step out of the vehicle, the boyfriend asked Clayton the reason for the request.
Borron claims that Clayton told the boyfriend to allow him to continue his investigation.
Clayton eventually filed an order of protection in Platte County court against Borron and her boyfriend, claiming that they were stalking him. The order forces the two to “not be in the same area” as Clayton.
Borron is working with Dennis Rowland to lift those orders. A hearing on the matter was scheduled to be held Tuesday, May 24.
The case that many during the meeting claimed as the most bizarre involved Susanne Glheaney, who says she was taken to the Platte County Sheriff’s office following a traffic stop in January. Glheaney, the vehicle’s passenger at the time, was asked to step out of the vehicle, following an accusation that she had stashed something under her seat.
Upon exiting the car, Glheaney said she was frisked and asked to leave the scene. She went to a nearby apartment complex, where she alerted her friends of the situation.
Glheaney then decided to go to a local ATM. In doing so, she passed by Clayton, who asked her to stop walking.
Glheaney claims that, because of a medical condition, she did not hear Clayton’s request, and she continued walking. She said Clayton then came up behind her, forcefully pulling at her jacket in an attempt to stop her.
At this point, Glheaney said that she was asked to provide her social security number, which she does not have as a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Clayton then transported Gilheaney to the Platte County Detention Center where she was booked overnight. She was released the next day with no explanation for her stay in custody, according to her statement.
On Feb. 3, Glheaney was served two citations -- one for failure to obey a lawful order and one for resisting arrest. She pleaded the citations down to a disturbing the peace charge with a fine of more than $300.
Clayton previously worked for the now disbanded police department in Mosby, Mo., located between Excelsior Springs and Kearney. Dennis Rowland claims the tenure ended when he was fired for using excessive force, although personal records to verify that were not available.
The most recent job for Clayton appears to be in Randolph, Mo., a village later unincorporated. He has spent about a year in Ferrelview.
“He’s continuing this course of conduct, so apparently there is no stopping him,” Dennis Rowland said. “Somebody has to stop (Clayton) from abusing the basic citizenry.