US cop shoots dead unarmed black man in Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati police officer indicted in shooting death of black man

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An impromptu memorial for Samuel Dubose is posted near the crime scene in Cincinnati

Updated Jul 31, 2015

University of Cincinnati police officer, 25-year-old white man Ray Tensing shot dead 43 year-old unarmed black man Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop in Rice Street & Thill Street, located in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio State, on Wednesday.

Dubose was driving a green 1998 Honda Accord, around 6:30 pm just south of the University of Cincinnati campus, New York Times reported.

Details of the incident captured by the police officers body-camera shows that Tensing stops Dubose’s car asking where his license plate is, and demands to see Dubose’s license.

When Dubose couldn’t produce a driver’s license, the officer tried to open the car’s door, ordering Dubose to remove his seat belt. Dubose tried to prevent the officer from opening his car door, Reuters reported.

As the two men were talking, the car started slowly to move forward. Officer Tensing yelled at Dubose to stop the car. The car did not stop and that time officer pulled and fired the gun that resulted in the death of Dubose.

The Cincinnati Police Department immediately started an investigation about the incident.

The Hamilton County prosecuting attorney, Joseph T. Deters, released the body-camera video that shows details of the incident.

In a press release, Deters described the shooting as senseless and asinine.

"He was dealing with someone who didn't have a front license plate. This is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken crap stop," said Deters to the media.

"People want to believe that Mr. Dubose had done something violent toward the officer," Deters told reporters continuing "He did not. He did not at all, and I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost and I feel sorry for the community too."

Deters then visited Dubose’s family to offer his condolences, telling them "I've been doing this for 30 years. This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make, totally unwarranted." Deters added that Tensing "should never have been a police officer."

Dubose’s mother Audrey Dubose, told to reporters that she is thankful that the incident was covered up saying "I'm so thankful that everything was uncovered," adding "I thought it was going to be covered up."

The president of the University of Cincinnati Santa J. Ono posted a tweet on his personal account, stressed the necessity of “steps to address any training, staffing and hiring policy issues that may be indicated by this tragic event.”

Cincinnati police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell on his report to the Associated Press, stressed that “Justice was served in this case, up to this point.”

Blackwell added “Violence and lawlessness will not be tolerated,” New York Times reported.

After the incident several hundred people gathered, despite the rain and thunderstorm, holding placards with “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

The death of Samuel Dubose was the newest addition to a slew of recent cases in which black people were victimized by law enforcement, such as James Hall in Staten Island; Freddie Gray in Baltimore; Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C.; and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., among others. These cases have raised questions about law enforcement’s use of force and the role of race in policing in the US.

TRTWorld and agencies