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Shooting of Samuel DuBose

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Shooting of Samuel DuBose

Shooting of Samuel DuBose
Time 6:30 p.m. EDT
Date July 19, 2015 (2015-07-19)
Location Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Coordinates (traffic stop)
Filmed by Tensing's bodycam
Deaths Samuel DuBose
Accused Raymond Tensing
Charges Murder, voluntary manslaughter

The shooting of Samuel DuBose occurred during a traffic stop for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, fatally shot DuBose, an unarmed black man, when Dubose started his car and, according to Tensing, began to drive off. Tensing stated that he was being dragged when his arm became caught in the car. Prosecutors alleged that footage from Tensing's bodycam showed that he was not dragged and a grand jury indicted him on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. He was then fired from the police department.


  • Backgrounds 1
    • Samuel DuBose 1.1
    • Raymond Tensing 1.2
    • University of Cincinnati Police Department 1.3
  • Shooting 2
    • Investigation and police reports 2.1
  • Legal proceedings 3
  • Aftermath 4
    • Official reactions 4.1
    • Public reactions 4.2
    • Kroll report 4.3
    • University reactions 4.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Samuel DuBose

Samuel "Sam" 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 and was the father of 13 children. DuBose had been charged or arrested more than 60 times, mostly on traffic and minor drug charges. He served less than a year in a state prison on a 2005 marijuana trafficking charge.[1][2][3][4]

Raymond Tensing

Raymond Tensing (born November 13, 1989),[5] 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.[6]

Tensing graduated cum laude with a degree in criminal justice from University of Cincinnati Clermont College in 2012 and had a clean performance record.[7] He was involved in a fight in August 2010, a few weeks after he completed his training at the police academy. Tensing conducted an independent investigation of the incident, was described as being 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 against other combatants was dismissed.[8]

University of Cincinnati Police Department

The University of Cincinnati Police Department jurisdiction includes three campuses and the areas around them.[9] Since the UCPD's jurisdiction was expanded to include neighboring areas in 2009, the number of reported crimes in those areas was cut in half by 2014.[10] Officers increased their traffic stops on- and off-campus, tripling the number from 2012 to 2015.[11] Of its 72 officers, 4 are African American and 1 is Asian American.[12] They also switched service weapons to a model that can have a lighter trigger pull, and received additional training on gun use.[11] In the first half of 2015, officers pulled their weapons 13 times, compared to 2 times in 2014 and 2013.[11] Unlike the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD), the UCPD was not included in federally mandated reforms following the nearby riots of 2001 that had been in reaction to a shooting of a young black man by city police.[13][14] One UCPD Chief resigned in 2013 amid reported low morale, and he was not replaced immediately.[15] Two other black men had been killed by UCPD officers, both with Tasers: a student in 2011 and a mental patient in 2010.[16]


External video
Bodycam 1 – Tensing
Bodycam 2 – Kidd
Bodycam 3 – Lindenschmidt

At 6:30 p.m., on Rice Street near Thill Street in the Mount Auburn district,[17] Tensing was patrolling off-campus when he stopped DuBose for failure to display a front license plate,[18] which is a primary offense for vehicles with Ohio license plates.[19][20] The incident was recorded on Tensing's bodycam, which he activated before the traffic stop.[21]

Seen in the bodycam video, Tensing repeatedly requests a driver's license and DuBose replies that he has a driver's license, before 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. After travelling about 400 feet (120 m), the vehicle collided into a telephone pole and came to a stop.[22]

After the officers reach the car, the video shows DuBose inside with an apparent gunshot wound to his head.[23][5][24] The county coroner's preliminary autopsy results, released on July 31, confirmed that as the cause of death.[25] 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.[26][23] 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.[23][27]

A day after the shooting, it was reported that DuBose was driving on an indefinitely suspended driver's license, and had marijuana and about $2,600 cash in the car.[18][28]

Investigation and police reports

UCPD officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt arrived at the scene just after the gunshot, and their 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. Officer-in-Training Lindenschmidt, who had only started working in the field that month, made what has been called "rookie mistakes" including picking up Tensing's fallen flashlight and moving Tensing's cruiser.[22]

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.[29]

The CPD took over the investigation soon after they were called to the scene.

Legal proceedings

Kidd and Lindenschmidt were not indicted by the grand jury. "These officers have been truthful and honest about what happened and no charges are warranted," Deters said. Kidd and Lindenschmidt were placed on administrative leave during a university investigation.[30][31]

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.[32] 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.[33][5] A pretrial hearing is scheduled for November 16.[34]

Stew Mathews, Tensing's attorney, said that Tensing was being dragged by the car, and that the officer fired in self-defense. Mathews said that video from Lindenschmidt's bodycam helped substantiate that claim.[35][36]

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".[2]


Official reactions

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.[37] 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.[38]

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".[39][40] Resolution of the grievance is postponed pending the outcome of the criminal case.[41]

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.[42] There was some public and academic criticism of Deters' comments, on the basis that his rhetoric would jeopardize Tensing's right to a fair trial and that they were anti-police.[43]

Public reactions

The body camera recording of Tensing shooting DuBose has garnered considerable attention. The footage has been compared to a first-person-shooter video game[44] and described as so "disturbing" that Cincinnati police prepared for large protests and riots before the footage's release.[45]

As of July 30, at least four demonstrations have been held around the country in response to DuBose's death.[46] A Black Lives Matter vigil and rally in support of DuBose was held in Cincinnati on July 31, the third such event since the shooting. The victim's mother said, "As long as we stand up for the righteous, we going to be OK. I would come out here every night, I will go city to city because now I'm involved, my child was involved." Participants chanted "I am Sam DuBose."[47] Around 300 participants subsequently walked through Over-the-Rhine to Fountain Square. Six people were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest during the march.[48] One hundred protesters joined a "United March for Justice" on September 19, linking DuBose's killing with the deaths of Tamir Rice, John Crawford, and Samantha Ramsey.[49]

Kroll report

A report released in September 2015 by Kroll Inc., a risk consulting firm hired by the university, said that Tensing's bodycam video showed that he was not dragged. It also said that the car had not moved, or had barely moved, before the gunshot was fired. It faulted both men for unnecessarily escalating the situation, DuBose by failing to comply with Tensing's command to get out of the car and starting the engine. The report offered no opinion as to Tensing's guilt or innocence in the criminal case. Tensing's attorney said, "I don't agree with their analysis or their conclusions."[50][51] The report's recommendations include reviewing the scope of the UCPD's jurisdiction, improving relevant training and policies, clarifying reporting requirements following officer-involved shootings, providing cultural diversity training, and assessing the diversity of officers within the UCPD.[22]

University reactions

Following the shooting the UCPD stopped making off-campus traffic stops.[52]

On October 16, a student group, named "Irate 8" for the eight percent of black students at University of Cincinnati campuses, presented a list of demands to the university president. The list includes taking officers Kidd and Lindenschmidt off patrol, conducting full background checks of police and other university employees, and mandating racial sensitivity training for all staff and students. President Santa J. Ono agreed to meet with them and discuss their demands.[53][54][55]

See also


  1. ^ Welsh-Huggins, Andrew (July 29, 2015). "Details on university police officer, shooting victim". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Investigation finished in Cincinnati police shooting".  
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Prosecutor Probing Shooting of Motorist by University Police Officer".  
  4. ^ "Police describe struggle that led UC officer to shoot, kill man". WCPO-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. July 19, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Richinick, Michele (July 29, 2015). "Grand Jury Indicts Police Officer Ray Tensing for Shooting Death of Samuel Dubose".  
  6. ^ "Fired Ohio cop used stun gun on man".  
  7. ^ "UC officer accused of killing motorist has clean performance record". WCPO-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "After being beaten in 2010 fight, Ray Tensing seemed like a 'ticking time bomb,' attorney says". WCPO-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Police". University of Cincinnati. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c "UC police got new guns before DuBose shooting". August 25, 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ David A. Graham. "Samuel DuBose Killing: Why Police Reform Can't Just Focus on Big Urban Departments - The Atlantic". The Atlantic. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Driver shot, killed by University of Cincinnati police officer in Mt. Auburn". WLWT-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. July 20, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Coolidge, Sharon; Grasha, Kevin; Horn, Dan (July 30, 2015). "Prosecutor: UC Officer 'Purposefully Killed' DuBose". Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Ohio senator seeks to soften front license plate rule in wake of Cincinnati shooting". 
  20. ^ "Would eliminating front license plate have affected shooting case?". July 22, 2015. 
  21. ^ Coolridge, Sharon; Grasha, Kevin; Horn, Dan (July 30, 2015). "Prosecutor: UC officer 'purposefully killed' DuBose". (Enquirer). Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c "Review and Investigation of Officer Raymond M. Tensing’s Use of Deadly Force on July 19, 2015: University of Cincinnati Police Department" (PDF). University of Cincinnatidate=21 August 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c Pérez-Peña, Richard (July 29, 2015). "University of Cincinnati Officer Indicted in Fatal Shooting of Driver".  
  24. ^ "Body camera video released in Sam DuBose shooting". WCPO-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  25. ^ "No Charges For 2 Cops At Scene Of Sam DuBose's Killing". The Huffington Post. July 31, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  26. ^ Bittenbender, Steve (July 30, 2015). "Ohio officer charged with murder pleads not guilty, released on bond". Reuters. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  27. ^ Carrero, Jacquellena (July 29, 2015). "Family of Samuel DuBose, Killed by University Cop, Calls for Peace After Cincinnati Indictment".  
  28. ^ Rogers, Katie (July 22, 2015). "Questions After Unarmed Ohio Man Is Killed in Traffic Stop". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Officers Involved In Samuel DuBose Shooting Were Sued In Earlier Death Of Unarmed Black Man". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  30. ^ "No Charges vs. 2 Officers at Scene of Traffic Stop Shooting". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 31, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ Carrero, Jacquellena (July 30, 2015). "Samuel DuBose Shooting: Second Body Cam Video Shows Police Response".  
  32. ^ "$1 million bond set for officer charged with murder".  
  33. ^ Carrero, Jacquellena (July 29, 2015). "University of Cincinnati Police Officer Indicted for Murder in Death of Samuel Dubose". NBC News. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  34. ^ Grasha, Kevin (September 8, 2015). "Ex-UC officer Ray Tensing's murder trial postponed". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  35. ^ Congedo, Jackie (July 30, 2015). "Former UC Officer Ray Tensing's attorney plans to use self-defense claim". WLWT-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Samuel DuBose video appears to show two officers reinforced false account of police killing". July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  37. ^ Ford, Dana (July 29, 2015). "University cop indicted in traffic stop shooting". CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ Ralston, Michele; Reilly, M.B. (July 30, 2015). "Information on July 19 Officer-Involved Shooting". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  39. ^ Saker, Anne (July 31, 2015). "Tensing, through union, demands his UC job back". Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  40. ^ McCormack, Simon (July 31, 2015). "Police Union Files Grievance To Get Ray Tensing His Job Back".  
  41. ^ Jesse Folk, Rose-Ann Aragon. "FOP: Ray Tensing files grievance with University of Cincinnati to get his job back". WCPO. 
  42. ^ Kutner, Max (August 5, 2015). "Cincinnati Indictment Raises Fears About Campus Police". Newsweek. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Ohio prosecutor's comments in fatal traffic stop shooting of Sam DuBose draw critics". The Chicago Tribune. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015. 
  44. ^ Thomas, Dexter (July 30, 2015). "Footage of police shooting of Sam DuBose in Cincinnati evokes disturbing video game".  
  45. ^ King, Shaun (July 28, 2015). "The video of police killing of Sam Dubose is apparently so bad, Cincinnati is preparing for riots".  
  46. ^ "At least 983 Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been held in the last 376 days". Elephrame. July 30, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  47. ^
  48. ^ "6 arrested in rally honoring Sam DuBose". WLWT-TV. Cincinnati, Ohio. August 1, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  49. ^ Ashley Harrington (September 18, 2015). "'"DuBose family leads 'March for Justice. 
  50. ^ Horn, Dan; Sparling, Hannah (September 12, 2015). "'"UC report: Sam DuBose shooting 'entirely preventable. The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  51. ^ Perez-Pena, Richard (September 11, 2015). "Ohio: Report Says Killing by Officer Was Preventable". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  52. ^ Ryan Felton. "Samuel DuBose shooting was due to 'critical errors in judgment', report finds". the Guardian. 
  53. ^ Brad Hawley (October 15, 2015). "Irate8 to meet with UC president after giving list of 10 demands - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV". 
  54. ^ "Irate 8 presents list of demands to UC officials". WLWT. October 23, 2015. 
  55. ^ WCPO Staff. "Irate8 student group issues set of demands to University of Cincinnati leaders". WCPO. 

External links

  • University of Cincinnati police report from Eric Weibel
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