Samuel Dubose Updates

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death.]

Last Friday, I mentioned the police killing of Samuel Dubose, a 43-year-old black man in Cincinnati, who was shot in the head by University of Cincinnati Campus Police Officer Ray Tensing following an altercation during a traffic stop for a missing front license plate.

Today, the Hamilton County's prosecutor "will hold a news conference on the investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting and body camera video of the shooting will be released."
Prosecutor Joe Deters will hold the news conference on the Samuel Dubose case at 1 p.m., a news release stated. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, UC President Santa Ono and City Manager Harry Black will hold a 2 p.m. news conference.

...A grand jury has been looking at evidence, including a body camera that University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was wearing during the July 19 traffic stop.
Dubose's family has been asking for the body cam footage to be released. There has been little public comment from authorities on the video being considered by the grand jury, but what comment there has been has indicated that it will generate public outrage, especially if the grand jury does not return an indictment after viewing it.
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he's seen the unreleased footage from a University of Cincinnati officer's body camera during last week's fatal shooting and "it's not good."

"The video is not good," Blackwell said. "I think the city manager has said that also publicly. I'll leave it there."

...City Manager Harry Black also spoke about the unreleased body camera video of the shooting.

"It's not a good situation," Black said. "It's a tragic situation, someone has died that did not necessarily need to die."

...Black said he hasn't seen the video but that his understanding is the video "is not good."
Not that video of someone being killed could ever be "good," but obviously this sounds particularly bad.

A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter [CN: video autoplays at link] has said that "the group will take action no matter what the grand jury decides."
"If there is no indictment clearly we'll be calling up to talk about the injustice of that and making demands that are related to that injustice. If there is an indictment, as we know around the country, they don't automatically lead to convictions, so we will be pushing for a conviction," Taylor said. "Our plan is to honor the aggravation and the desire for justice from the community and to give a vehicle for people to be able to express their discontent."

Black Lives Matter said it stands with the Dubose family and is working with them closely as this case unfolds.

"Anybody to come out and go out there on the battlefield with us, I love them people because they fighting for a good cause. They're standing with me for my son," Audrey Dubose said.
Because I don't have any other words, once again I want to recommend this piece by Prison Culture, who wisely notes that, even if this officer is indicted and even if he is convicted and even if he is sentenced, it will not truly be justice. Meaningful justice will only be achieved by dismantling the (in)justice system which is catastrophically contaminated by white supremacy.

Which is a daunting task to contemplate, but the enormity of the task before us shouldn't let us treat as justice what will be, at best, limited individual accountability in a comprehensively corrupt system.

Mychal Denzel Smith once wrote: "Justice for Renisha would have looked like Michael Brown being able to attend college. Justice for Trayvon would have looked like Renisha McBride getting the help she needed the night of her accident. Justice for Oscar Grant would have looked like Trayvon Martin making it home to finish watching the NBA All-Star game, Skittles and iced tea in tow. And so on, and so on. Justice should be the affirmation of our existence."

Real justice will be no more death.

UPDATE: Officer Tensing has been indicted for murder. Prosecutor Joe Deters said "the act was the most 'asinine' thing he had seen a police office do in 30 years, and he said Tensing's actions were so inexcusable he 'should never have been a police officer.'"
"This is without question a murder," Deters said.

He said Dubose slowly rolls away from the officer, but he said Tensing was never in danger and escalated the encounter quickly and unnecessarily.

"He lost his temper because Mr. Dubose wouldn't get out of his car," the prosecutor continued. "When you see this you won't believe how quickly he pulls his gun. Maybe a second — it's incredible."

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