UC Report Critical of Officer’s Tactics in Fatal Shooting

Ray Tensing’s actions were found to have unnecessarily escalated his encounter with Sam DuBose.

The University of Cincinnati’s report on the traffic stop that resulted in a university police officer fatally shooting Sam DuBose in July was critical of the officer’s tactics and called the killing “entirely preventable.”

The independent report, released September 11 by Kroll Inc., found that former UC police officer Ray Tensing “made critical errors in judgment and exercised poor police tactics” after his initial interaction with Sam DuBose, who was pulled over for driving without a front license plate.

While Tensing’s initial traffic stop and questioning of DuBose was deemed appropriate, Tensing’s actions following Dubose’s acknowledgement that he couldn’t produce a driver’s license were found to have “violated police practice.”

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Tensing’s decisions to try opening DuBose’s car door, reach into the car to restrain DuBose and subsequently pull out his weapon were singled out as escalating the encounter and creating a dangerous situation. The report noted that Tensing’s decisions to pull out and use his weapon directly violated UCPD policies.

Further, the report’s authors found that Tensing’s accounts of the incident “are plainly contradicted by the video and audio recording of the incident.”

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Several recommendations were also included at the end of the report for the UCPD. A summary of each recommendation is found below.

  • Modify the agreement with the City of Cincinnati to limit UCPD’s off-campus patrols
  • Reassess the mission of UCPD to better reflect the “experiential learning environment” it works in
  • Revise the UCPD Firearms and Deadly force policy to require toxicology tests after any officer-involved shooting that causes serious bodily injury or death
  • Clarify officer interview protocols following critical incidents
  • Clarify the UCPD body worn digital systems policy to help officers understand when to activate and deactivate cameras
  • Implement cultural diversity and competency training for UCPD officers
  • Evaluate how to create a more diversified police force to more accurately reflect the university community
  • Assess existing training requirements for the UCPD
  • Create an “In-Service Training Module to specifically address traffic stop safety.”

Kroll interviewed 20 witnesses, including 16 members of the University of Cincinnati Police Department, for the report.

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