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University of Cincinnati police focus on de-escalation in years since Sam DuBose shooting

Posted: 4:30 AM, Jun 08, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-08 08:11:12-04

CINCINNATI -- Officer Zachary Lutz has been with the University of Cincinnati Police Division for about two years.

He started just before the Sam DuBose shooting.

Since then, UC officers have going through extensive training, much of which was centered around de-escalation and non-escalation.

"I think it's very effective," Lutz said. "Absolutely."

In Ray Tensing body camera video from the DuBose shooting, he can be heard identifying himself and immediately asking for DuBose's driver's license after making the off-campus traffic stop.

Anthony Carter took over as the UC police chief a year ago. He has helped usher in the new approach.

"Our new approach is, 'Hello, my name is Tony Carter. I'm with the University of Cincinnati police. The reason I stopped you today is because your vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign,'" Carter said. "Generally, that's what people want. It's not so much the accusatory finger-pointing, the guessing game."

The division underwent a top-to-bottom review from a team of criminal justice consultants after the shooting.

UC officers no longer proactively stop drivers or pedestrians. Whenever there's an off-campus traffic stop, the chief is notified.

Carter believes they've made progress through better supervision and community engagement. He said they're also willing to do more.

"If there's one person at the end of the day who still has doubts about the University of Cincinnati Police Division, we need to make sure we're doing everything we can to get rid of those doubts," Carter said.

Tensing's trial for DuBose's death begins Thursday.

For complete trial coverage, visit wcpo.com/TensingTrial .