Cincinnati Police Shooting Victim Had 50 Previous Traffic Stops


Sam DuBose, who was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer during a July traffic stop, had been cited or arrest 90 previous times since the late 1980s, paying nearly $12,000 in fines, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He never had a weapon during any of his police encounters. He was never accused of fleeing when pulled over for a traffic violation. For the average person, having so many run-ins with law enforcement in a lifetime seems unfathomable. Black U.S. motorists are about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, and 23 percent more likely than Hispanic drivers says the U.S. Justice Department’s police public contact survey.

In DuBose's case, more than 50 of his 90 police run-ins began with traffic stops, including the one that ended with University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing firing a bullet into his head. The fatal encounter began because DuBose didn't have a front license plate on the car he was driving. “These traffic stops for minor offenses accomplish nothing,” said John Roman of the Urban Institute, who hopes that DuBose's death might lead to policy changes. “These repeated encounters don't deter crime. All they do is ruin people's lives.” Court records show that DuBose's vice was marijuana. Since his teenage years, his record is spotted with some 25 marijuana-related arrests, usually resulting from police finding a baggie in his pocket during a traffic stop. One trafficking charge in 2005 was hefty enough to land DuBose in the state prison system, but the other offenses were for having less than 100 grams on him for personal use. His girlfriend said his prison stint had set him straight, and he recently had made his money in his recording studio.

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