By John “Hennry” Harris
The senseless and tragic shooting death of Samuel Dubose at the hands of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing continued to prove to detractors that there is a serious issue with law enforcement and its brutality of people of color.
Subsequently, the video released of the incident gives irrefutable evidence of the horrendous account and shed further light on police brutality in America.
Disturbing numbers concerning the University of Cincinnati police and their traffic stops have come to light as a result of the bright spotlight placed on the UCPD.
According to Fox 15, the University of Cincinnati police force off-campus patrols have been terminated due to a spike in suspicious traffic stops of minorities off-campus. The evidence suggests a department-wide issue.
The Law and Public Safety Committee approved the ordinance to allow the UCPD to enforce traffic stops in 2013 and the result has been troubling.
Records reveal that the UCPD’s numbers nearly tripled, with white stops almost doubling from 579 in 2013 to 932 and Black stop quadrupling form 633 in 2013 to 2,354 that year alone.
Despite these eye-opening numbers, officials are shying away from labeling the stops as racial profiling until the investigation is complete. City council members call the area the UCPD patrolled a limited one, but the numbers even surprised the Law and Public Safety Committee.
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson told reporters:
“That’s astounding. You don’t want to make accusations, but it’s like—there’s disparate impact and then there’s profiling,” Simpson said. “That’s a huge number.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell also admitted that the numbers were disturbing. Blackwell also approved the investigation into the force used by Tensing after he was charged with the murder of Dubose, the father of 13.
“I was a little bit concerned—I can’t lie—I’m a little bit concerned about the numbers and the discrepancy in the culture and race of the drivers that are stopped,” he said. “I think we have to look at that to see if there’s anything there.”
University of Cincinnati Police Chief Jason Goodrich has been extremely quiet since Tensing was indicted on murder charges after shooting Dubose in the head during a traffic stop in July.
What separates this case from many police brutality cases across the country is that it was not only caught on film, but involved University police. The fact that University police were involved forced immediate actions to be taken as it reflects on the University of Cincinnati and the safety of the students.
Tensing has posted bond and pled not guilty to the charges. He has also gone as far as filing a grievance through a union representative demanding his job back, but with the publicity of the case, hopefully his attempts will be in vain.