Cincinnati police chief wary of fallout from Dubose shooting video

Black man was unarmed when he was killed by a white U. of Cincinnati police officer during a routine traffic stop

On the same day Samuel Dubose was laid to rest after being shot to death by University of Cincinnati police, the city’s police chief said Tuesday that he had seen the unreleased video recording of the incident and it was “not good.”

Dubose, a 43-year-old black man, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by UC police officer Ray Tensing during a routine traffic stop on July 19. Tensing had pulled Dubose over about a half-mile from campus because his car was missing a front license plate.

According to Tensing, who is white, Dubose refused to show his driver’s license or get out of the vehicle, and instead pulled out a bottle of alcohol. A scuffle apparently ensued, culminating in Tensing shooting Dubose once in the head. He later told 911 dispatchers that he had been “almost run over” by Dubose’s car.

Hamilton Country prosecutor Joe Deters has refused to release the recording captured by Tensing’s body camera until the case has been presented to a grand jury. But police chief Jerry Blackwell told local NBC affiliate WLWT on Tuesday that the contents of the video were “not good.”

“It’s not a good situation,” he said. “I think that’s clear, and it will become evident once that video is shown. We’re just trying to do our best to be prepared for whatever might come out of it.”

At Dubose’s funeral ceremony at the Church of the Living God in Avondale on Tuesday, more than 500 people – including Blackwell, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono – paid their respects to Dubose, a father of 10 and grandfather to four. His sister, Terina Allen, called for transparency in the investigation but told USA Today after the funeral service that her family didn’t “want any riots.”

“Sam wasn’t violent,” Allen said. “It would completely harm his memory if people were to take that route.”

Dubose’s death comes amid months of national scrutiny over police treatment of unarmed African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. The Cincinnati incident has also led to questions about the role armed campus police should play when they are off campus, as Tensing was.

UC officials said Monday they planned an independent review of police department policies following the incident, announcing the university had hired an independent reviewer to go over police policies and procedures.

Florida attorney Mark O'Mara has been retained to represent the Dubose family's interests. O'Mara defended former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting.

With The Associated Press

Related News

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter