Cincinnati and federal officials fear riots if video of Sam DuBose killing is made public

Sam Dubose and Officer Ray Tensing (Photo Source: Dubose Family and Greenhills Police Department)
Sam Dubose and Officer Ray Tensing (Photo sources: Dubose Family and Greenhills Police Department)

The killing of Sam Dubose by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing on July 19, 2015, has become a source of concern for city and federal officials. Dubose was pulled over by Tensing for not having a license plate on the front of his car, a violation of Ohio law. However, during the stop something went horribly wrong and Dubose was shot in the head by Tensing. Tensing claims that Dubose tried to run him over with his car and he was dragged by the vehicle when he tried to drive off.

Now reports have surfaced that the body camera video of Tensing is so disturbing that city officials fear it could start riots in the city. According to Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell “It’s not a good situation, 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. We’re concerned clearly. We’re concerned about what could happen in our city. We’re hopeful that the people of this great city are reminded that we do things right and that even when an officer may have done something inappropriate that it will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion.”

Because of Dubose’s death, University of Cincinnati officials have stopped conducting off campus traffic stops.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has refused to publicly release the video after a lawsuit was filed by multiple news agencies under the Freedom of Information Act. According to Deter’s spokesperson, “We need time to look at everything and do a complete investigation so that the community is satisfied that we did a thorough job.” Deters has expressed concern that if the video footage before the grand jury has seen the video it could “taint the jury process.”

Dubose’s family has hired noted attorney Mark O’Mara for legal assistance in this case. According to O’ Mara, the family requests two things at this time ““First, they want dignity for themselves and for Sam and his death, and they want transparency. They want to know what happened to what happened to him — first the ‘what’ and then the ‘why.’ ”

It is being reported by multiple news agencies that the Department of Homeland Security is on heightened alert and U.S. Marshals have been dispatched to Cincinnati.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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