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Cincinnati Man Was Going Home to Watch Movie With Son When Shot in Head by Police

Authorities are investigating the shooting of Samuel Dubose, an unarmed black man, during a routine traffic stop over the weekend.

by VICE News
Jul 22 2015, 3:53pm

Samuel Dubose. Family handout

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Cincinnati prosecutors have opened an investigation into the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white University of Cincinnati police officer during a routine traffic stop this weekend.

Officer Ray Tensing reportedly pulled over Samuel Dubose around 6:30pm Sunday evening over a missing front license plate, university police chief Jason Goodrich said.

The situation rapidly escalated after Dubose, a 43-year-old artist and music producer, allegedly refused to produce his driver's license and get out of the car when asked. Goodrich said Dubose instead handed over an alcohol bottle, and a short scuffle ensued, during which the officer fired his weapon once before falling to the ground.

"There was a struggle at the door with Mr. Dubose in the vehicle and the officer outside the vehicle, and the vehicle sped away," Cincinnati police Lt. Col. James Whalen said.

Dubose, reportedly a father of 13, was shot in the head and died on the scene, Goodrich said. Tensing, who police said was on the force for five years, walked away with minor injuries, including bruised legs, and his uniform was also torn, police said. Dubose did not appear to have a weapon, according to police.

The officer has since been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation.

One of Dubose's sons, Samuel, 9, told WKRC his father was "coming home" the night he died. They had set up a projector and "were going to watch a movie on it but we didn't get to do that ... because he died."

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said that his office was "rapidly investigating" the incident and expected to produce findings by the end of next week.

Cincinnati police are conducting a separate probe into the shooting.

"This is a serious situation and I will do everything necessary to ensure the investigation is handled as such," City Manager Harry Black said in a statement Tuesday.

University police have an agreement with state police to patrol certain shared areas near the campus.

Authorities have confirmed that video of the incident was shot on a body camera Tensing was wearing at the time and on a campus security surveillance camera. The footage will not be released until the investigated is concluded, Black said.

A memorial to Dubose has been set up at a spot close to where he was killed. His family tied balloons to a pole, above which is a sign reading "RIP Samuel Dubose," and "We miss you Daddy."