A newly engaged father was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer on Sunday night after a routine traffic stop.
Sam Dubose, 43, was pulled over about a mile away from the university by campus police officer Ray Tensing for missing a front license plate. According to police reports, Mr Dubose could not produce a license and when he was asked to step out of the car, a struggle ensued.
“There was a struggle at the door with Mr. Dubose in the vehicle and the officer outside the vehicle, and the vehicle sped away,” officer James Whalen told Fox59.
Police reports claim that Mr Dubose attempted to flee the scene. After starting the ignition and driving off, officer Tensing fired one bullet and struck the driver in the back of the head.
Hadassah Thomas, a friend and neighbor of Mr Dubose, told WLWT that the father of 13 children friend was not a confrontational person.
“Everybody in the community loved Sam. He was so helpful and he was always around. He used to babysit for my daughter. What men do that? He didn’t carry a gun, so why did he get shot?”
Mr Dubose was charged more than 75 times in Hamilton County over the past 20 years, Cincinatti.com reported. Most of the charges were non-violent, including: driving without a license, joyriding, tinted windows and misdemeanor drug possession.
The father's community is demanding answers. Ebony Johnson, a family friend, told the outlet that the officer only killed him because of his many, minor encounters with the law.
“People see an arrest record like that and they automatically say, ‘Oh, that’s why they killed him. It wasn’t like that. He’s never been violent.”
Dr Santa J. Ono, the university president, released a statement on behalf of the university.
"On behalf of the University of Cincinnati community, I want to extend our condolences to the family and loved ones of Samuel Dubose. Our hearts grieve for his loss.
“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.”
The officer, who has five years experience in law enforcement, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a department investigation.Reuse content