UC, DuBose Family Reach Settlement

Family will receive nearly $5 million for police shooting

click to enlarge Audrey DuBose speaks to reporters immediately after the indictment of officer Ray Tensing is announced
Audrey DuBose speaks to reporters immediately after the indictment of officer Ray Tensing is announced

The University of Cincinnati and the family of Samuel DuBose today reached a settlement in DuBose’s shooting death July 19 by UC police officer Ray Tensing.

That settlement calls for the university to pay $4,850,000 to the family, as well as tuition-free undergraduate education for DuBose’s 12 children. That part of the settlement is worth an estimated $500,000. In addition, UC President Santa Ono will issue an official apology to the family, a memorial to DuBose will be constructed somewhere on UC’s campus and the family will be invited to participate in conversations around reform of UC’s police force undertaken by the school’s Community Advisory Council.

Tensing shot DuBose a mile from campus in Mount Auburn after stopping him for not having a front license plate on his car. The officer claimed DuBose tried to drive away and dragged him, but footage from Tensing's body camera showed that he was not in immediate danger when he shot DuBose. DuBose was unarmed.Tensing has been indicted on murder and manslaughter charges. He is out on bond awaiting his next pretrial hearing in February.

DuBose's death made national news as the country continues to grapple with weighty issues around police shootings, especially those of people of color, as well as the deeper socioeconomic issues that underlie many of those shootings. Other police shootings of unarmed black citizens have occurred recently in Ohio, including those of John Crawford III in Beavercreek and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland. Grand juries in both of those cases declined to indict officers involved.

“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,” UC President Santa Ono said in a statement. “This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities.”
 
The settlement was mediated by attorney Billy Martin over the course of two days of private meetings between the family and the university. Well-known civil rights attorneys Al Gerhardstein, Mark O’Mara and Michael Wright represented the family. Hamilton County Probate Courts must approve the settlement.
 
“I commend UC and the DuBose family for working together in a positive manner to help the community and the University work positively on their shared goal of reducing crime while preserving rights going forward,” Martin said in a statement about the settlement. “The example here demonstrates to communities hurting all over the country that positive results can be achieved through this type of cooperation.”