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Police officer shoots black man to death in Cincinnati traffic stop

CINCINNATI — Police here are investigating the fatal shooting of an apparently unarmed black man by a University of Cincinnati police officer after a confrontation during a traffic stop July 19.

The dead man, who was shot in the head, was Samuel Dubose, a 43-year-old father of 13 children, according to CNN affiliate WKRC-TV. A CNN records search showed that Dubose had more than 60 arrests.

Authorities identified the officer as Ray Tensing, who has five years’ experience in law enforcement and who has worked for the University of Cincinnati Police Department for more than a year. He is white.

According to Cincinnati police, who are handling the investigation, Tensing saw Dubose driving without a front license plate around 6:30 Sunday evening and tried to pull him over. Police said Dubose continued for about a mile before stopping the car.

Tensing asked several times to see Dubose’s driver’s license, Cincinnati police said. Instead, police said, Dubose handed the officer a bottle of alcohol.

According to police, Tensing asked Dubose to step out of the car, at which point a struggle ensued.

Police said Dubose then stuck his key back in the ignition and sped away as Tensing fired a single shot, hitting the driver in the head.

Tensing fell to the ground as he fired the shot, bruising his legs and tearing his uniform, Cincinnati police said.

It appeared that Dubose did not have a weapon, according to police.

“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 told reporters.

Dubose’s mother, Audrey, said her son was “full of love,” CNN affiliate WLWT-TV reported.

“Know that my son was not a violent person,” she said. “My son … he got stopped a lot but he never tried to fight.”

Dubose’s son, Samuel, told WKRC, “He was coming home that night and we had a projector so we were going to watch a movie on it but we didn’t get to do that … because he died.”

The officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay. He has not yet been interviewed, nor have two other officers who arrived on the scene, as they are allowed 24 to 48 hours to work with their attorneys first.

Tensing was wearing a body camera, police said. They also said they have received surveillance video from nearby buildings, but have yet to view it. No dashboard camera video is available, police said.

Jason Goodrich, public safety director and police chief at the University of Cincinnati, said a mutual aid agreement allows university officers to function as officers outside campus grounds.