Watch Another Heated Traffic Stop Made by Cop Accused of Killing Samuel DuBose

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Campus police: different badges, different uniforms, but same deadly force.

CINCINNATI — Two University of Cincinnati police officers who were at the scene just after a fellow officer fatally shot a driver are not being charged, a prosecutor said Friday. 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. Body camera footage has played a key role into the investigation of the death of Samuel DuBose, who was shot in the head by former university police officer Ray Tensing. 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. 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.

Deters continued, saying that the university should disband its police force in light of what happened and suggesting that city police patrol the campus instead. Tensing initially said he was dragged by the car, was “almost run over” and was “forced to shoot” Dubose, according to an incident report filed by Officer Eric Weibel.

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. But campus police officers reject the characterization, especially as their powers continue to grow, making them more and more like municipal departments. “If the prosecutor indicated that [Tensing] was not a police officer, then I’m sorry to say that the prosecutor was dead wrong,” said Lt Charles Wilson of the Rhode Island campus police department, who writes academically about public perceptions of campus police offices. All police officers, regardless of the department they serve, must meet the same basic standards to be licensed or certified by the state, though some critics say campus police participate in separate and shorter training. The footage below, released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office and synced by The Guardian, shows the vantage point of Tensing, Kidd and Lindenschmidt in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

The vast majority of universities operate their own law enforcement agencies, and campuses without one rely primarily on private security firms or local law enforcement agencies, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data from 2011-12, the most recent available. Their official statements about what happened matched what was shown on Tensing’s body camera, and neither officer said in official interviews that he saw Tensing being dragged, according to Deters. During the debate, some groups opposed the move, arguing that guns were unnecessary, especially considering the nature of crimes committed on campus. “The worst crime that’s ever done here is people smoke marijuana,” Frank Annunziato, executive director of the URI chapter of the faculty union American Association of University Professors, told NBC News at the time. “This is a happy place. The family’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said in email Friday that they are “still concerned with the initial rendition of facts given by the officers,” but he said the family respects the grand jury’s decision.

The union said the university violated Tensing’s employment contract by not giving him a pre-disciplinary conference and a copy of the formal charges, executive director Catherine Brockman said. The need for campus policing arose during the late 1960s and early 1970s, when student-activists held massive civil rights and anti-war demonstrations. Images of clashes between police and students would come to define the era, none more so than the massacre at Kent State University, when Ohio national guardsmen opened fire on the crowd, killing four students. “That prompted a lot of institutions to start police departments, so that they had people on campus who were more attuned with their community and have a better understanding with the community so that the kinds of things that started during the demonstrations wouldn’t happen again,” said Bill Taylor, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the chief of police at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas.

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