Back in July of 2015, 43 year old Samuel DuBose was shot in the head and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer. During a traffic stop a couple blocks from the campus, DuBose was stopped by officer Ray Tensing for not having a front license plate. It is uncertain the real reason why Tensing shot DuBose in the head, as he was completely unarmed. Tensing is awaiting trial for murder, as authorities believe he purposely killed DuBose. The University of Cincinnati has officially announced that they will be paying the family a sum of $4.85 million because the death took place by an officer of the university.
There was initial outrage by the African American community of Cincinnati because Tensing was a white officer. Tensing claimed that he was forced to use his weapon because DuBose tried to run him over with his vehicle. Because there was video footage from a body camera contradicting his story, Tensing was indicted on both murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. Tensing has pleaded not guilty, but might receive a sentence of life in prison if he is found guilty. The fact that Tensing was fired by the university and charged with murder has helped the community to get some kind of justice.
Justice for DuBose family
The University of Cincinnati has tried to make amends with the family of DuBose for all their pain and suffering. His family has been living by the words of Martin Luther King since the death of their son, which is to remain peaceful when faced with tragedy. The family of DuBose has remained peaceful as the university has come up with a way to make it up to the family for an employee killing their son. In addition to paying the family $4.85 million and issuing a public apology, the university also set up a memorial on campus honoring DuBose. DuBose had 12 children, and all of these children were offered a free undergraduate education worth $500,000 by the university. The family will also work with the university on issues of police reform. This settlement has allowed the family to move forward. Terina DuBose-Allen, sister of Samuel DuBose, has stated that they wouldn’t use the words happy or satisfied as a way to describe what the university has done for the family. Rather, the settlement will help them to continue the healing process.
University not acknowledging guilt
Many have wondered and even asked if the settlement provided to the family was the university’s way of acknowledging their guilt in the death. It is not necessarily an acknowledgement of guilt, but rather of tragedy and a way for the university to keep resolutions fair for all parties. Santa Ono, University of Cincinnati President, extended his condolences to the family and the deep sadness and regret the campus feels for the loss of DuBose. Ono wanted to make sure the family was not only compensated with cash, but he wanted to ensure the next generation DuBose family was taken care of.