Monday, January 18, 2016

Last Call For Settling Up In Cincy

The big story here in the Cincy area tonight is the announcement of a settlement between the University of Cincinnati and the family of Sam DuBose, killed last year by campus officer Ray Tensing over a license plate stop.

The family of a man shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer who pulled him over for not having a front license plate has reached a $5.3 million settlement with the school, the family and university announced Monday.

The deal gives the family of Samuel DuBose $4.85 million and promises free undergraduate tuition for his 12 children who range in age from 4 to 23.

The educational component of the settlement is valued at approximately $500,000.

Additionally, UC will erect a memorial to DuBose on campus and UC President Santa Ono will also issue an apology to the family for the loss of DuBose.

"This did not need to happen, and we need to make sure this doesn't happen to another family," said Terina Allen, DuBose's sister. "And if we have that memorial, maybe that makes people stop and say 'Wow.' And maybe it won't happen again."

"Everybody's hurt, you know?" Raegan Brooks, DuBose's 18-year-old daughter said. "And everybody's suffering from, you know, the loss."

Brooks is the administrator of her late father's estate meaning she will ultimately decide how the settlement money is doled out.

"We got some positives from it, but my dad won't be here," Brooks said. "So it's still a bittersweet moment."

Al Gerhardstein, a civil rights attorney who helped the DuBose family during settlement talks, said, "It is Martin Luther King Day. And he encouraged us to resolve our disputes peacefully. The family heard that. They had the most violent thing happen to Sam DuBose that can happen from a law enforcement officer. They lost their dad, their brother, their son and yet they responded peacefully and have worked for months with UC to try and both honor his legacy and promote reforms that will change things for the future and make this less likely to happen."

The fact the settlement was announced on MLK Day is not lost on DuBose's fiancee, Da'Shonda Reid.

"We're still looking for dreams," Reid said. "We're still marching. We're still singing. We're still praying. What has changed? We're still losing lives out here."

I have to say, while nothing can replace losing a loved one to murder like that, the University definitely appeared to be treating the DuBose family with good faith, and the tuition especially is a valuable offering that the University will hopefully be able to make a difference with in the future.

But DuBose's fiancee is right: black people are still dying out here.  In the end, that's the part that must change, and the settlement being announced on MLK Day makes it all the more important.

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