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Samuel Dubose; The Cincinnati Police Shooting: An Analysis of the Facts.

(ThyBlackMan.com) As a former detective and firearms instructor, I would like to share an analysis of the facts with you regarding the shooting of an unarmed black man in Cincinnati. But first, I need to say this is quite different from the Sandra Bland case and her case should not be simply thrown into a pile with this one. Regarding the Cincinnati shooting of Samuel Dubose in July of 2015 by University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, as shown on the officer’s bodycam, it was simply murder and there is no excuses for it.

This article is to look at what went wrong and what can be done to avoid this happening again. Therefore, if you do not agree (and you don’t have to), I ask you to realize that other readers do want to understand what happened – not just to get angry and ignore all of the facts. So if you are going to make negative comments or insults, you need to know this is not the time and thus such is very inappropriate. Negativity helps nothing and you can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. I will not even dignify negative comments with a response.

As a current family counselor, mediator and life coach, I am trained to look at every side and angle of a problem or encounter. I do not take sides. I stand with the facts and the evidence then offer real solutions that help people survive. I have done just that in dozens of seminars and workshops for both youths and adults in the African American community.

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Now to an analysis of what happened. Know that I deal in facts, laws and hard evidence, even if it is unpopular. Officer Tensing shot Dubose at point blank range and killed him with one shot to the head. And I have to say NOTHING WARRANTS OR JUSTIFIES THE OFFICER’S BEHAVIOR. However let’s take a look at what likely went wrong and how others can avoid that happening.

The video is here so watch it then come back to this article.                                        


Officer Tensing stops Samuel Dubose on a traffic stop he is authorized to make for a missing front license plate. Tensing is authorized to make the stop and the stop is legal. He asks Dubose for his driver’s license. Dubose starts reaching for the glovebox and the officer tells him that he does not have to. He says “you don’t have to reach for it, that’s o.k.” But Dubose reaches anyway. PEOPLE NEVER, EVER REACH FOR ANYTHING IN A TRAFFIC STOP UNLESS SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Most men carry their licenses in their wallets so to an officer, that is a scary thing. Mostly all police officers are taught that domestic violence calls and traffic stops are potentially the mostly dangerous encounters. I am not casting blame, I am telling you what makes an officer nervous because I know. And these are the facts, not a criticism.

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College Campus police officers usually do not undergo much training. For example, in Georgia they mostly go through 10 weeks, whereas the major city police go through 6 months. Huge difference. Couple that with the current racial tensions, a traffic stop, a 25 year old white officer and a black man with dreads and all types of racial stereotypes begin to fly. In such case, everybody is on edge and the encounter is volatile from the beginning. Still, the stop was legal but it went bad, very bad. Fortunately, the officer has been indicted and charged with murder but that may not be enough.

The officer sees a bottle labeled “Gin” on the floor of the car and asks Dubose what it is. Again Samuel Dubose reaches, this time for a bottle labeled Gin. DO NOT REACH FOR ANYTHING UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO period. My recommendation is not about blaming the victim. It is about keeping you from getting shot at the hands of an untrained and/or racist officer.

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As for whether the murder was racially motivated or not, we do not know. In light of so many other obvious cases, you are probably thinking it must be racially motivated. But having been a detective, I see things differently because I have a different skill set to use for analyzing this encounter. I do not excuse the officer who murdered Dubose, but let me tell you what my trained eye sees. I see a 25 year old inexperienced officer who likely has very little training for making traffic stops off campus.

The officer should never have been authorized to make traffic stops off campus because that requires a lot more training. I also see a fearful white officer engaged in an encounter with an older black male who keeps reaching for things. My educated guess is that the officer is already nervous and not prepared to handle that traffic stop. Again, campus police should only be assigned to the campus and not have jurisdiction outside of it.

Officer Tensing, who was wearing a bodycam, lied and said that he was dragged by the car so he had to shoot. The video does not validate his story of being dragged. However, because he did wear a bodycam, it is unlikely that Officer Tensing was intending to murder Dubose. It is too easy to prove the officer at fault because original complete videos do not lie. In my trained opinion, Tensing temporarily lost it. Still no excuse.

While I have your attention, I wish the African American community would be even more outraged at “black on black crime”. Most crimes against us are by our own people and nobody seems to want to march, protest or riot over that. So I have to ask, have we set a low value on black life and others are following suit?   You may not want to hear this and it is no excuses for what the officer did, but we need to face ALL of the facts about the struggles we face. Present day, we kill more of each other than ever police department around today, yet we keep avoiding that problem.

Finally, recounting the video footage, we can see that Samuel Dubose tries to distract the officer with his left hand while cranking up the car with his right hand. Samuel Dubose is attempting to drive off when he is shot in the head by Officer Tensing. The car then goes towards the curb and another officer approaches.

Sometimes the only good thing about a tragedy is what the living can learn from it so it does not have to happen again. I must stress again, if you are stopped by the police, DO NOT REACH FOR ANYTHING. Keep both hands on the wheel in plain view and wait for instructions. Do not lie. Do not argue. Do not try to drive off. Turn down the music. Comply with what you are asked to do, even if you disagree with what is asked of you. There are many legal ways to deal with the police later but you have to be around to do so. There are good and bad police officers out here, and unless you can tell one from the other, simply be still, comply and make your objective to leave unharmed. Wisdom can go a long way.

To the family of Samuel Dubose, our prayers are with you and do not let this matter go. To the rest of you, teach your children and spread the word about the things I have shared with you today. Print, reprint and email this article to others. Educate our people and save a life. But whatever you do, make sure your actions NEVER play into the hands of those who want to take you down. Good luck!

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Staff Writer; Marque-Anthony 


Staff :