Al Gerhardstein is one of the attorneys that has represented the DuBose family. He is also a founder of the Collaborative Agreement that instituted police reforms in Cincinnati fifteen years ago. As the Ray Tensing trial starts it is helpful to keep some points in mind about Tensing.
Facts distinguishing UCPD and shooting of Sam DuBose from the City of Cincinnati Police Department
- Ray Tensing worked for University of Cincinnati Police Department (UCPD), not City of Cincinnati.
- Ray Tensing (white) stopped Sam DuBose (Black) for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015. He was enforcing the traffic code off campus. A missing license plate is a minor misdemeanor.
- Ray Tensing was acting pursuant to a UCPD custom and practice of stopping black motorists disproportionately compared to white motorists. See https://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/ucomm/docs/ucpd-arrests-and-citations.pdf; http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/safety-reform/documents/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf, pg. 24 (Exiger Report).
- Ray Tensing reached into the vehicle and escalated the encounter rather than deescalating the encounter. Kroll Report. http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/safety-reform/documents/Kroll%20Report%20of%20Investigation%208.31.2015.pdf
- As determined by the Kroll Report, the shooting should not have happened.
- The City of Cincinnati Homicide unit investigated the shooting. Based on that investigation Ray Tensing is indicted for murder.
- Since the murder of Sam DuBose UCPD has started implementing reforms and states that it is committed to implementing all of the recommendations in the Exiger Report. http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/safety-reform/documents/RFP%20-%20External%20Monitor.pdf (RFP to hire an external monitor to supervise implementation of reforms)
- At the time of the DuBose shooting the UCPD was nearly all white but the surrounding community had a very significant black population.
- The City of Cincinnati Police has operated under the Collaborative Agreement (CA) since 2002. http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/police/department-references/collaborative-agreement/
- The CA was adopted based on consensus goals achieved through a community wide dialogue.
- The Collaborative Agreement requires bias free policing. Traffic and pedestrian stops are tracked by race. Racially biased policing is banned.
- The Collaborative Agreement promotes problem solving, not zero tolerance policing. Escalating a minor misdemeanor to the point where a citizen is shot is not consistent with the CA.
- Under the CA, CPD officers are tracked through an early warning system that reveals patterns of conduct by an officer that suggests a risk that excessive force will be used. Interventions follow. Patterns of complaints are tracked by the Citizens Complaint Authority. Officers who display racially biased policing are identified in the reporting systems that are in place and interventions follow.
- Since the shooting of Sam DuBose the memorandum of agreement permitting UCPD officers to police streets near campus is under review to make sure the off campus work by UCPD is consistent with the policing strategies of the CPD.
- In recent years the CPD has been approximately 1/3 Black and ¼ female.