UC Pays $350k To Officer Tensing After Firing Him Over Shooting
Cincinnati, OH – The University of Cincinnati (UC) has agreed to pay just over $344,000 in back wages and legal fees to a former UC police officer, who fatally shot an alleged drug dealer during a traffic stop in 2015.
Former UC Police Officer Raymond Tensing, 28, initiated a traffic stop on Samuel DuBose on July 19, 2015, after he witnessed DuBose operating a vehicle without a front license plate, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Officer Tensing’s interaction with DuBose, 43, was captured by his bodycam.
“Be straight up with me – are you suspended?” he asked DuBose, who was seen sitting behind the wheel of his vehicle.
DuBose denied that his license was suspended, and said he was nearly home.
The officer asked him to remove his seatbelt, at which point Dubose pulled his driver’s door towards him, and started the ignition.
“Stop,” Officer Tensing commanded, as he reached into the vehicle. “Stop!”
As the car accelerated, Officer Tensing discharged his duty weapon, striking DuBose in the head.
Tensing later testified that the believed he was going to be dragged by the vehicle, and that he feared for his life, The New York Times reported.
Investigators also found two pounds of marijuana and $2,600 cash in DuBose’s vehicle after the shooting, according to WKRC.
Tensing was fired on July 29, 2015, after he was indicted on murder charges – a move that resulted in the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) filing a grievance on the former officer’s behalf, The New York Times reported.
Until the case was resolved, Tensing should not have been fired, the FOP argued.
After two deadlocked juries, the charges against Tensing were dismissed.
As part of the settlement agreement, Tensing resigned his position, and promised to forgo pursuing any additional claims against UC.
"This case has caused a lot of strife in the community, and I believe the settlement will allow for healing to continue," Tensing said in a statement released by the FOP, according to The New York Times. "It certainly will do that for me after two difficult trials."
UC President Neville Pinto announced the settlement in an email sent out to staff, faculty, and students, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I realize this agreement will be difficult for our community,” Pinto wrote. “I am nevertheless hopeful that we can focus on supporting each other as members of the same Bearcat family — even, perhaps especially, if we don’t agree.”
In 2016, UC agreed to pay $5.3 million to DuBose’s family, as well as to provide free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children, The New York Times reported.
The school also agreed to issue a formal apology for DuBose’s death, promised to establish an on-campus memorial in his honor, and vowed to include his family in matters related to UC police reform, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
DuBose had been cited or arrested 90 times since the late 1980s, and landed himself in prison in 2005 for drug trafficking, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
“It takes some people longer to learn than others,” said DuBose’s fiancé, DaShonda Reid, who was also the mother of four of his 13 children. “But he was getting it. I was loving the man he was turning into.”
Reid expressed outrage upon learning of UC’s settlement with Tensing, who she called a “paid assassin.”
“To even want compensation [after] murdering an innocent man shows how soulless and callous he is," Reid told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "UC has now reversed any of the rights they attempted to do by Sam. His blood is not only on Tensing’s hands [and] the justice system, it’s now on UC’s hands.”
You can see the video of the shooting below: