UC police suspend off-campus traffic stops

CINCINNATI -- University of Cincinnati police will no longer conduct off-campus traffic stops in the wake of the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist by a white university police officer.

UC Police Officer Ray Tensing, 26, shot and killed Sam Dubose, 43, during a traffic stop over a missing license plate Sunday evening in Mt. Auburn.

According to an incident report, Tensing said Dubose was dragging him with his car and he feared he would be run over when he fired a single shot that killed him.

Because of a countywide memorandum of understanding, UC police had authority to conduct police work -- including traffic stops for serious violations -- outside campus boundaries.

NEED TO KNOW: Why cops can make arrests outside of dept. lines

Thursday's change means UC's police department will focus its patrols within campus boundaries.

"UC has multiple campus locations, so university police vehicles will still be seen traveling between locations," according to a Thursday news release from UC. "The City of Cincinnati Police Department has agreed to increase its patrols outside the boundaries of campus in the interim."

The university also said Thursday it would be reviewing its MOU with the city.

A day earlier, UC President Santa Ono, standing alongside Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, vowed reforms to the university's police department, including possible participation in the Collaborative Agreement between Cincinnati police and the Justice Department that brought changes to use-of-force policy and new training and transparency following the 2001 riots in the city.

"We will be reviewing -- comprehensively -- training, policies and procedures and making sure we are applying best practice in everything we do," Ono said.

IN DEPTH: What reforms might mean for city, UC

Cranley said "license plate pullovers should not result in the loss of life" and he applauded UC's commitment to reform. The mayor stopped just short of blaming the officer in the shooting.

UC's discussions with Cincinnati police and the community could eventually lead to UC police being merged with Cincinnati police.

UC will study the possibility of rearming its officers with Tasers. UC stopped using Tasers after a student died in 2011 when he was stunned by an officer trying to subdue him.

Ono also has joined a growing chorus of people calling for Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to share body camera video from the fatal shooting. Ono said he urged Deters to let Dubose's family review the footage.

Deters, though, has said he would not release the body cam video until a grand jury has seen it. Deters' office released a statement after about 20 people protested outside his downtown office Thursday.

At the protest, State Sen. Cecil Thomas -- a retired Cincinnati policeman and former Cincinnati councilman -- said he sees a "groundswell of anger" developing like the one that led to the 2001 riots over the UC police shooting and the prosecutor's refusal to release the video.

"I'm extremely concerned that this is going to lead to some problems. I don't want to go back to that," Thomas said.

ALSO: See more from Thursday's protest

A long-time police reform advocate, Iris Roley, called for a boycott of the Music Festival this weekend and asked the public to stop patronizing businesses that don't support the African-American community. "It doesn't make sense to be having a music festival this weekend," Roley said.

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