No sooner had I finished yesterday’s post, “Black lives that don’t matter,” another incident of a policeman shooting an unarmed black man was at the top of the news. And again, a black man, who apparently was not cooperating fully with police, needlessly ended up dead.
Ray Tensing, a campus police officer for the University of Cincinnati, was indicted on a murder charge for the shooting of Samuel Dubose during what a university official described as a “petty, chicken crap” traffic stop. Mr. Dubose had not displayed a front license plate, though he produced one from his glove box.
The incident was captured on a video camera worn by the officer.
When stopped everything goes along smoothly at first for Mr. Dubose, although he does seem confused about where his driver’s license might be. The officer asks about a bottle on the car floor. Dubose hands him the bottle, which is described as gin. After placing the bottle atop the car, things begin to escalate quickly. According to the New York Times:
“Officer Tensing starts to open the driver’s door and tells Mr. Dubose to remove his seatbelt. Mr. Dubose pulls the door closed again and restarts his car.”
The shooting takes place seconds later.
Had he done what the officer asked, Dubose would likely be alive today. Isn’t that what’s important? To live.
Outside the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati, peaceful protestors chanted, “Black lives matter. I am Sam Dubose.”
Again, I agree. Black lives matter. But why do black civil rights leaders avoid confronting the truth. If organizations like Black Lives Matter truly believe their words, they would protect their constituents by preaching compliance, not resistance, when facing police. Just as the Rev. Martin Luther King would have back in 1960s.
But the senseless Black Lives Matter movement needs martyrs. And it got another one with Samuel Dubose.