The University of Cincinnati announced Monday that it has agreed to a $4.85 million settlement with the family of Samuel DuBose and has offered to provide free education for his children. Although the university police officer initially claimed that DuBose attempted to run him over, footage from his body camera revealed the officer was not being dragged when he fired the fatal shot.
“I want to again express on behalf of the University of Cincinnati community our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of the life of Samuel DuBose,” university president Santa Ono said in a news release. “This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities.”
On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing pulled over Samuel DuBose a few blocks from the campus for driving without a front license plate. When asked why he did not have his front plate, DuBose opened his glove compartment to show his license plate to Tensing. After the officer asked to see his driver’s license, DuBose admitted that he did not have it with him.
As Tensing ordered him to take off his seatbelt, DuBose turned the key in the ignition and revved the engine. Before DuBose’s vehicle began to move, Tensing pulled out his service weapon and shot him in the head at pointblank range. As Tensing fell backwards, DuBose’s car began rolling forward approximately 100 yards before pulling onto a curb and stopping.
According to the police report, the Cincinnati Fire Department arrived later and pronounced DuBose dead at the crash scene. Officer Phillip Kidd, who witnessed the incident, backed up Tensing’s version of events and told his fellow officers that he saw Tensing being dragged by DuBose’s car before the shooting. But Tensing’s body cam video revealed that Tensing was never dragged by the car and instead immediately fell backwards after firing the bullet that killed DuBose.
Charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter on July 29, 2015, Tensing was subsequently arrested and fired from the department. If convicted, Tensing faces up to life in prison. He has a pretrial hearing scheduled for February 11.
On Monday, the University of Cincinnati announced that the family of Samuel DuBose has agreed to a $4.85 million settlement and free undergraduate tuition for all 12 of his children. Along with a formal apology issued by university president Ono, the school has also agreed to establish a memorial on campus commemorating DuBose while inviting his family to participate in a community advisory committee on police reform.
“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” his sister Terina DuBose told The Washington Post on Monday, adding, that “the settlement isn’t justice. It wouldn’t be if it was $50 million. It was important to hold the university accountable, but there will be no justice until Tensing is convicted of murder.”