2 backup officers at Samuel DuBose shooting scene won’t be charged

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cincinnati shooting tests ‘blue wall of silence’ (+video).

CINCINNATI — A prosecutor says a grand jury decided no charges are warranted against two University of Cincinnati police officers who responded to the traffic stop in which another officer fatally shot a driver. A white policeman who shot a black motorist after stopping him because he had a missing licence plate pleaded not guilty yesterday to murder and voluntary manslaughter.Two police officers accused of corroborating an allegedly false narrative about the deadly shooting of a motorist in Cincinnati were previously cited in the death of an unarmed and mentally ill black man, it has been revealed.

As a growing number of police departments are equipping officers with digital body cameras, the so-called blue wall of silence, the unwritten rule that officers never speak ill of one another to outsiders, is being tested perhaps like never before. The July 19 death of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati, Ohio, came amid national scrutiny of police dealings with African Americans, especially those killed by police.

Kelly Brinson, a 45-year-old mental health patient at Cincinnati’s University hospital, suffered a psychotic episode on 20 January 2010 and was placed inside a seclusion room at the hospital by UC officers. The police-involved shooting in Cincinnati – and specifically, the role of two officers who may have lied about what happened to their colleague – is a case in point. In the latest footage, one clip from another officer’s body camera shows, for a split second, Tension running with another officer towards Dubose’s car. His lawyer, Stewart Mathews, said that there were two sides to the case and the much-viewed body camera video of the stop could be interpreted differently from the prosecutor’s version. The report said that in court documents filed by Mr Brinson’s family in a civil suit against the campus police force and the hospital, all seven officers were accused of using excessive force and “acted with deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr Brinson”.

According to the lawsuit, before Mr Brinson was placed in restraints in the incident five years ago he “repeatedly yelled that slavery was over and he repeatedly pleaded not to be shackled and not to be treated like a slave”. The incident is the latest in a series of fatal police confrontations across the United States that have raised questions about police use of force against minorities. Officer Tensing, who could face up to life in prison if convicted, has said he thought he was going to be dragged under the car and “feared for his life”, according to Mr Mathews. Tensing, who is white, alleges that Samuel DuBose, a black man who had been stopped for a missing front license plate, put his life in danger by starting the car, which began to roll forward.

Mr Mathews said a video from the body camera of a police officer who arrived right after the shooting shows Officer Tensing lying in the street, but that video hasn’t been released by authorities. “With the political climate in this country with white police officers shooting black individuals, I think they need somebody to make an example of,” he said. It was later dismissed as an attempt to mislead investigators and as “making an excuse for the purposeful killing of another person” by the Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters, who charged Tensing with murder on Wednesday. The officers involved in his brother’s death were “supposed to be fired”, Brinson said. “But what happened was because we had an out-of-court settlement, they had immunity and they couldn’t be prosecuted. Dubose’s family has hired attorney Mark O’Mara, who represented George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin. It is these sorts of discrepancies that America is now parsing as it watches police interactions more closely than ever – in some cases, with the help of body cameras. “This whole incident [in Cincinnati] is a classic illustration of the problem, where you have [other officers] reflexively supporting the officer [Tensing],” says Samuel Walker, a professor emeritus of criminology and a police accountability expert at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. “There’s a lot of concern about police lying – what’s called ‘testi-lying’ in court – and there are a lot of people who don’t believe that occurs, and if it does, it’s just a couple of bad cops.

A synced-up video of body camera footage from Tensing, Kidd and Lindenschimdt reveals the dramatic aftermath of the shooting and shows that Lindenschimdt also backed Tensing’s claim he was dragged, later telling another officer: “I just arrived to back him [Tensing] up, the guy took off. Video has been crucial in some investigations into questionable policing that led to citizen deaths over the past year, though it’s also not always been conclusive. He fired one round.” Witness documents for the 2010 case show that it was a different officer who deployed the Taser against Brinson, but both Kidd and Weibel were involved in restraining him.

In that light, the Cincinnati shooting is one of a number of emerging cases that could show how body cameras can help reform police culture, even in the midst of what Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell called the “most difficult policing environment in the history of our nation.” A tendency among police to cover up bad behavior in the ranks has a long history, and many Americans see such impulses as understandable. Weibel wrote in his statement that he later observed Brinson was non-responsive and “had a blank stare on his face”, at which point a doctor was called. Kidd told attorneys he assisted in restraint by placing his elbow on Brinson’s jaw and his hand near his temple and face. • Do you have information about an officer-involved death that the public deserves to know? Those protections include US Supreme Court rulings that give officers wide leeway to make mistakes as they make split-second life-or-death decisions. “People want to believe that Mr.

But whatever department an officer serves, the “blue wall of silence” has emerged partly out of necessity, as police officers create a tightknit fraternity for their safety and job protection. In some recent police shootings, police union heads, who represent officers, have blamed the media, social activists, and citizens themselves for the problems, rarely putting the blame on officers. For example, after defending the officers’ actions in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland last year, union head Jeffrey Follmer said the officers bore no responsibility, even though Tamir was shot within two seconds of them pulling up to the park where he was playing with an Airsoft gun. Many of those shootings were undoubtedly justified, but just three officers have been charged with crimes – two of the cases being in Cincinnati and North Charleston, where video evidence has been key.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site