Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cincinnati Prosecutor Probing Shooting of Motorist by University Police Officer
Published July 22, 2015

Protesters in Cincinnati Tuesday called for the release of video showing an encounter between a black motorist and a white University of Cincinnati police officer that ended with the fatal shooting of the motorist.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the family of Samuel Dubose, joined by university students, held a rally Tuesday to demand answers about Sunday's shooting from university Police Chief Jason Goodrich. At one point, the paper reported, Dubose's 9-year-old son asked "Why can't I see the video?"

City officials told the Associated Press that from the encounter has been turned over to the  office of Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters. Deters said in a statement that his office is "rapidly investigating" what happened between Dubose and Officer Ray Tensing and that he expects an assessment of the case to be completed by the end of next week.

Goodrich said earlier that Tensing was at the edge of the campus Sunday evening when he spotted a car missing a front license plate and driven by Dubose. He said after the officer stopped him, Dubose apparently refused to provide a driver's license, produced an alcohol bottle instead and refused to get out. A struggle ensued, and Tensing fired one shot and was knocked to the ground, Goodrich said.

The car rolled a short distance before stopping. Goodrich said Dubose, 43, had been shot in the head and was dead at the scene.

Dubose's death comes amid several months of national scrutiny of police and their dealings with black suspects, especially those who have been killed by officers.

WXIX reported that Dubose has a criminal record in Hamilton County, mostly for misdemeanor drug crimes and traffic offenses, court records show. He served time in a state prison on a 2005 marijuana trafficking charge.

Dubose's family acknowledged his past offenses, but claimed he was not violent, adding that he had just gotten engaged to be married last week.

Tensing's legs were bruised, and his uniform was torn, police said. The officer, who was treated at a hospital and released Sunday night, is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

Earlier Tuesday, University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono offered condolences to Dubose's family and loved ones.

"Our hearts grieve for his loss," Ono said. "We also know that police officers risk their lives every day, and when their efforts to protect themselves and our community result in a death, it is a tragedy. No matter the circumstances, it is a time of unimaginable sadness for all involved."

Cincinnati police are also investigating, and city leaders pledged Tuesday to make sure the case is given a thorough, transparent review.

"This is a serious situation and I will do everything necessary to ensure the investigation is handled as such," City Manager Harry Black said in a statement.

Mayor John Cranley said he has spoken with Deters.

Tensing has more than five years of experience in law enforcement and has worked as a University of Cincinnati police officer since April 2014, Goodrich said. An Associated Press review of his UC personnel file didn't indicate any problems in that time. The Enquirer reported that Tensing was praised by his evaluating officer for his handling of traffic stops. However, the officer also added, "I would like to see him interact more with the public outside of traffic enforcement."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

No comments: