Another Cop Gets Away With Killing A Black Man

June 24, 2017 Off By Michael
Samuel Dubose Memorial

Harold Michael Harvey surveying a makeshift memorial at the intersection of Rice Street and Valencia Street in Cincinnati where Sam Dubose was shot in the head by Cop Ray Tensing of the University of Cincinnati Police Department on July 19, 2015.
(c) 2015 Cascade Publishing House

Another cop has essentially gotten away with killing a Black man in the USA. Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer can breathe a sigh of relief as a second jury has deadlocked in the shooting death of Samuel Dubose.

Tensing pulled Dubose over near the University of Cincinnati campus after detecting that Dubose was missing one of two license plates the State of Ohio requires.

Dubose produced a bill of sale to show ownership of the vehicle, but Tensing insisted that Dubose explain whether his car was properly registered with the state.

When Dubose realized that he could not reason with Tensing, he attempted to drive off. Tensing immediately pulls his revolver and fired into Dubose car, striking him with a projectile in the head and killing him.

Last year a Cincinnati jury could not reach a verdict and the judge ordered a mistrial in the case. It is doubtful that a Cincinnati jury will ever convict a white cop for killing a Black man.

This week Lilly Workneh and Taryn Finley  writing in the Huffington Post, documented 21 cop killings dating back to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo by New York City cops, where the cop or cops involved have received no criminal punishment.

Twenty-two times out of twenty-two altercations, a white cop has been right. Something about those numbers suggests that the scales of justice are weighed heavier on one side from the “git go.”

Based on this record number of acquittals and hung juries in recent months it is safe to say without bias or hesitation, that it is unlikely we will ever see a white cop convicted of first degree murder of a Black man or boy in the next 50 years.

When it comes to the white man’s right to kill a Black man, it becomes very difficult for white people to put aside subconscious racial feelings that will enable them to see the events unfold through the eyes of the Black victim. A Black man who questions the authority of a cop has always been considered a bad Black man in USA society. And to be considered a bad Black man, puts that Black man one step closer to death without criminal recourse to his attacker.

As a former criminal defense attorney, I know this dichotomy far too well. Overtime I developed a method to sensitize white  prospective jurors to their subconscious racial feelings and  with good results.

Another solution is for Black people to take jury duty more seriously, as seriously as breathing, because their lives depend upon fairness and justice when encountering a white cop.

As long as a white cop knows there will be no long-term criminal liability for killing a Black man or woman, they will not think twice before reaching for their gun and firing rounds of ammunition  into a car with men, women and children of color.

I promise you it is a fact, that white people vote white, whether it is at the ballot box or in the jury box. Black people must begin to do the same thing in order to restore justice to an unjust system.

It’s like going to a real estate closing. Both sides may sit in the room, hee and haw and grunt, but until they agree on all the terms, there is no deal. Black jurors have to begin to take control of the jury room and demand justice or no deal at all, in all matters they are called upon to decide, whether it is a cop related killing or otherwise.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, edited Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at