The mother of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose who was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati cop said Wednesday she was thankful her son’s death would not go unnoticed by the court system or the world.
“I am so thankful that everything was uncovered,” Audrey DuBose said to a room of reporters Wednesday. “I just thank God that everything is being revealed.”
DuBose’s sister, Terina Allen, said she felt the video of University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing’s traffic stop and shooting of DuBose would vindicate him.
She said some people called her brother a “thug” because of his criminal history, which includes several traffic violations.
But she believes the video released Wednesday shows her brother was murdered.
“My brother was about to be just another stereotype, and that’s not going to happen,” Allen said.
The family has hired high-profile lawyer Mark O’Mara, who represented George Zimmerman in his Florida court case. O’Mara described the video as surprising and said it was key to getting an indictment against Tensing.
“If there wasn’t a video available, I do not believe he would have had an indictment,” O’Mara said.
O’Mara said the case will likely give police departments around the country a reason to suit up with body cameras.
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said during a separate press conference the city’s police department is working to outfit officers with cameras.
Blackwell was flanked by several community leaders including all of the city’s council, the city’s mayor, police chief and manager, as well as the UC president during the news conference at city hall.
“I think it’s safe to say that this case is going to help the cause of body cameras across the country,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Wednesday.
Cincinnati leaders also praised the decision of the prosecutor’s office to work quickly toward an indictment in the case.
“We are going to get through this, with the help of the family and the many people in this room,” Cranley said.
He and Blackwell both emphasized that the city was ready for any backlash over the video. But they also urged for any protesting to be done peacefully.
“There is no reason for there to be any violent act in our community as the result of the murder of Samuel DuBose,” said Bishop Bobby Hilton, the senior pastor of Word of Deliverance Ministries in Forest Park during the conference.
Family members also described Samuel DuBose as “peaceful” and said he wouldn’t want his death to spawn violence.
Still, University of Cincinnati canceled class Wednesday ahead of the grand jury announcement.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters criticized the university, his alma mater, for its police department during a separate press conference Wednesday.
“I don’t think a university should be in the policing business,” Deters said. He suggested the college should be policed by the city’s cops.
But UC President Santa Ono said he would not disband the college’s police department in the wake of the shooting, although he has ordered a “top to bottom” review of the police agency.
“I have not,” Ono said in response to a Journal-News reporter’s question if he would end university policing on campus. “The policing that’s required of university and college police are very different from the policing in metropolitan areas.”
Ono said the university is working with the city’s police chief to strengthen the relationship between the university and city police forces.
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