The Police Murder of Samuel DuBose and the Coverup: EXPOSED!

August 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Samuel DuBoseSamuel DuBose (Courtesy of DuBose family via AP)

Terina Allen, Samuel DuBose’s sister: “If it were not for that video camera, Sam would be no different than all the other incidents because the second officer was ready to corroborate every lie.” She added, “My brother was just about to be one other stereotype and that’s not going to happen.”

On July 19, Samuel DuBose was driving near his home. He had plans to watch a movie with his young son later that night. But when he passed through a neighborhood near the University of Cincinnati, he was pulled over by Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati cop, for a missing license plate on the front of his car.

This was not the first time he had been stopped for a minor traffic violation, for “driving while Black.” In the past 20 years DuBose had been charged more than 75 times in Hamilton County, mostly for minor traffic and other violations. 75 times!

This time, only a few minutes after being stopped, Sam DuBose was dead. Tensing pulled out his gun, stuck it inside the car window, and shot Sam point blank in the head.

Immediately, as usual, the authorities put out the story that the cop was “in fear for his life,” that this was “justifiable homicide.” Tensing claimed that Sam DuBose had been trying to run him over with his car; Sam’s long history of encounters with the police was offered as proof that Tensing’s actions were justified. Other cops on the scene backed Tensing up. Like so many hundreds and thousands of other cases of police murder—Tensing was on his way to walking free after killing someone in cold blood.

But the family of Sam DuBose kept pushing for the police video of what happened to be released. Now it has and now the world can see what really happened, how this was in fact, a case of cold-blooded murder. Now the whole world can see the cover-up that would have exonerated the cops if not for the determination of those outraged about this murder by the police.

Excerpt from police report of murder of Samuel DuBose

Video vs. Lying Police Report

The official report reads: “Officer Tensing stated that he was attempting a traffic stop (No front license plate) when, at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver who was operating a 1998 Green Honda Accord.” It then goes on to say, “Officer Tensing stated that he almost was run over by the driver of the Honda Accord and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon.” And then, “Officer Tensing repeated that he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon.”

The report “documents” the other cops who backed up Tensing’s story: “Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda Accord drag Officer Tensing, and that he witnessed Officer Tensing fire a single shot. It is unclear how much of this incident OIT Lindenschmidt witnessed.”

And, “Looking at Officer Tensing’s uniform, I could see that the back of his pants and shirt looked as if it had been dragged over a rough surface.”


Now, watch the full 24 minute version (at right).

It is maddening and heartbreaking to see this: Another Black man, stopped by a cop for a minor traffic violation, then shot dead for no reason at all. Yet another victim of the genocidal police murder of Black and Latino people.

Compare what you see in this video to the LIES in the police report. It is clear in the video that Tensing was not dragged at all; that at most, when he fired his weapon he fell down backwards. DuBose's car takes off after he is shot and falls forward against the steering wheel and gas pedal.

Initially when Tensing is asked if he is ok he says “I’m good,” and goes on to say “I just got tangled in the car. I thought I was going to get run over.” But then the story begins to shift, to where he starts to claim that “he was dragging me.”

Watch how the cops begin to build their story to protect each other even in those first few minutes. Watch the total lack of concern for Sam DuBose who is sitting in the car and has just been delivered a mortal shot in the head. (The police report, written two days after DuBose was killed, even says “At the time of this report, I do not know, with certainty, the name of the deceased. It is suspected that the last name may be 'Dubose.'”!) Watch the captain who keeps suggesting to Tensing that he is “hot” and needs to go inside the van where he can “be cool” and talk, referring to the fact that his body camera is still running. Watch Tensing build his story and the others begin to back him up.

This is not the first time the University of Cincinnati police (with a total of 17 officers) have killed a Black man on or near the campus—since 1997 there have been three other instances. In 1997 Lorenzo Collins was leaving University Hospital and was shot. In 2010 Kelly Bernard Brinson died after being tasered and forcibly restrained by the police. In 2011 18-year-old Everette Howard died after having a taser fired at him.

The two officers who backed up Tensing’s story about being dragged were also involved in the death of Kelly Brinson, a mental health patient who had gone to the University Hospital for medical help and suffered a psychotic episode while there. According to the family’s lawsuit about his death, before Brinson was placed in restraints he “repeatedly yelled that slavery was over and he repeatedly pleaded not to be shackled and not to be treated like a slave”.

In all three of these cases the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing and received no punishment.

Joe Deters, the Prosecuting Attorney for Hamilton County, said when he announced that Tensing would be charged with murder: “This office has probably reviewed upwards of hundreds of police shootings, and this is the first time that we’ve thought this is without question a murder.”

Rise Up October 24th logo

Perhaps Deters wants people to think that this means this murder is “rare.” But in those “hundreds of police shootings” during the 17 years Joe Deters has led the office, there were no videos, only the words of family, friends, and witnesses to counter the police statements—the police LIES. The indictment of Tensing is the one and only time a cop has been indicted for murder in Hamilton County, in all those hundreds of cases.

And then think about “all the other incidents” that Sam DuBose’s sister, Terina Allen, is talking about: Michael Brown a year ago, Malcolm Ferguson, Ramarley Graham, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, and many, many more—people who were demonized by the cops who killed them with claims that the cops “feared for their lives.”

The cops don’t lie primarily because they think people in the oppressed communities will believe them. In fact, they lie in order to more thoroughly be able to brutalize and terrorize people in those communities. They lie to give legitimacy to their brutality and murder, so that people in the broader society will support them.

And now that everyone can see the reality of these cops feeling no qualms about murdering and brutalizing Black and Latino people, and making up stories to justify it, getting away with it time after time—the question is, WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? As Carl Dix says, “There is no room for neutrality here. There is no middle ground. You are either standing with the people who are acting to STOP these attacks or you are OK with racists in and out of uniform murdering Black people. We have to turn society upside down over this by mobilizing a huge march in New York City to STOP police terror.”

Be in New York City October 24 to STOP POLICE TERROR. Get involved in Rise Up October!


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