|Date||July 19, 2015|
|Location||Cincinatti, Ohio, US|
|Participants||Samuel DuBose (death)
Raymond Tensing (shooter)
The fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose occurred during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio. University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing shot Dubose during a traffic stop near the university campus, after noticing he had a missing front license plate.
On July 29, Tensing was charged with murder and is currently held at a county jail.
Samuel Vincent DuBose (c. 1972 – July 19, 2015), a 43-year-old black man, was a rapper, a music producer, entrepreneur, and motorcycle enthusiast. He attended high school in Cincinnati, was the father of 13 children, and was recently engaged to be married. DuBose had previously been the victim of official mistreatment by police, with over 60 arrests in his life. The vast majority of them being traffic and minor Ganja charges. He served time in a state prison on a 2005 ganja trafficking charge.
Raymond Tensing (born November 13, 1989), a white police officer who was 25 years old at the time of the shooting, had four years of law enforcement experience. Prior to working for the University of Cincinnati Police Department (UCPD), he was an officer with the department of Greenhills, Ohio. In 2012, Tensing graduated cum laude with a degree in criminal justice from University of Cincinnati Clermont College and had a clean performance record. According to his lawyer, he was involved in a fight that occurred in August 2010, a few weeks after he completed his training at the police academy. Between the incident and June 2011, the start of the trial, Tensing conducted an independent investigation, apparently unhappy with the Cincinnati Police Department's handling of the case, and was noted for his aggressive attitude at the time. As a result of his investigation, the case was dismissed.
|Bodycam 1 – Tensing|
|Bodycam 2 – Kidd|
|Bodycam 3 – Lindenschmidt|
On July 19, DuBose left his home, on the way to meet Samuel, his 9 year old son for a home movie date. At 6:30 p.m., on Rice Street near Thill Street, Tensing reportedly stopped DuBose for failure to display a front license plate. The incident was recorded on Tensing's bodycam, which he activated before the traffic stop.
In the bodycam video, Tensing repeatedly requests a driver's license and DuBose replies that he has a driver's license, eventually stating that he does not have it with him, causing Tensing to ask, "Are you suspended?" Tensing starts to open the driver's door and tells DuBose to remove his seat belt. DuBose pulls the door closed and starts the engine. Within the next few seconds, Tensing reaches into the car with his left hand, yells "Stop! Stop!", draws his pistol with his right hand, and fires once. Tensing falls away from the vehicle which moves forward as he and two other officers run after it. It comes to a stop after about 100 yards (91 m). After the officers reach the car, the video shows DuBose inside with an apparent gunshot wound to his head. The county coroner's preliminary autopsy results, released on July 31, confirmed that as the cause of death. Sources differed as to whether the car was moving before the shot was fired.
In bodycam footage, Tensing repeatedly tells other officers that he was dragged when his arm became caught in the car, possibly in the steering wheel. In the police report that he filed after the incident, he stated that he was dragged, forcing him to fire his weapon. On July 29, authorities released Tensing's bodycam video, which, according to prosecutors, shows that Tensing was not dragged.
The police reports after the incident show that two other officers corroborated the false narrative that Tensing was dragged by the car and only shot DuBose because he was in danger. That narrative has since been debunked my multiple sources. Some criminologists have suggested that the other officers should be charged alongside Tensing.
E.O. Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt arrived at the scene just after the gunshot, and bodycam footage shows Tensing getting up off the pavement. In his bodycam video, Kidd is heard supporting Tensing's statement that he was dragged by the car. According to County Prosecutor Joe Deters, neither officer stated in his official statement to Cincinnati police that he saw Tensing being dragged. Kidd and Lindenschmidt were not indicted by the grand jury. Kidd and Lindenschmidt were placed on administrative leave during a university investigation.
Eric Weibel, a UCPD officer who did not witness the shooting, stated in a report that Tensing's uniform looked like he had been dragged.
On July 29, Tensing was indicted on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. The murder charge carries a penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 15 years. As a result of the indictment, he was fired from the UCPD. At his July 30 arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he was released on $1 million bail later that day. His next court date is set for August 19.
Stew Mathews, Tensing's attorney, said the shot that killed DuBose was fired in self-defense, and that Tensing was being dragged by DuBose's car. Mathews substantiated his claim with bodycam video from David Lindenschmidt, another officer who was at the scene.
According to the UCPD use of force procedure, campus officers "should not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle except as the ultimate measure of self-defense or defense of another when the suspect is using deadly force".
On July 29, County Prosecutor Joe Deters stated in a press conference that the shooting was "asinine" and "senseless". He said that DuBose was not acting violently or aggressively. With "an abundance of caution in anticipation" of Deters' announcement, the University of Cincinnati closed its Uptown and Medical campuses at 11:00 a.m. The campuses resumed normal operations the next day.
On July 31, the Fraternal Order of Police-Ohio Labor Council, a union that represents UCPD employees, filed a grievance asking that Tensing be reinstated to his position on the police force, asserting that he was terminated "without just cause".
In the wake of the shooting, Deters called for the disbandment of the UCPD force and its replacement with city police officers. The incident also drew attention to the presence of armed law enforcement on college campuses.
The body camera recording of Tensing shooting DuBose has garnered considerable attention. The footage has been compared to a first-person-shooter video game and described as so "disturbing" that Cincinnati police prepared for large protests and riots before the footage's release.
As of July 30, at least four demonstrations have been held around the country in response to DuBose's death.
A Black Lives Matter rally in support of DuBose was held in Cincinnati on July 31. Around 300 participants walked through Over-the-Rhine to Fountain Square. Six people were arrested on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct during the march.
There was some public and academic criticism of Deters' comments, under the basis that his rhetoric would jeopardize Tensing's right to a fair trial and that they were anti-police.