By Nigel Boys
After two days of mediation, the family of Samuel DuBose has come to a settlement with the University of Cincinnati which will cost the school around $5.3 million, according to reports.
The New York Times reported that DuBose was shot to death by one of the university’s police officers in July in what a prosecutor called a “senseless, asinine shooting.” The learning establishment has agreed to pay the late DuBose’s family $4.85 million and have also promised to provide a free undergraduate education to his 12 children.
University officials announced in a statement on Monday that a memorial will be established in the name of the African-American man shot to death by Officer Ray Tensing, who was charged with the murder of the unarmed black man.
DuBose was killed by Tensing during a routine traffic stop, sparking intense national debate over police methods in dealing with the black community and how racial prejudice affects their judgment.
The senseless shooting of DuBose also raised questions as to whether or not the university’s police force were equipped to deal with and enforce laws in complex urban neighborhoods because of a lack of experience and training.
The university’s president, Santa J. Ono, will personally apologize to the DuBose family as part of the agreement, according to the statement. Calling the settlement “part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities,” Mr. Ono added that he wanted to reiterate “our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of life.”
A community advisory committee which is considering making changes to the university’s police department will be joined by the family of the late DuBose as part of the settlement. Not only will they attend the meetings of the advisory committee, but will actively participate in its decision making process.
The settlement appears to be in line with other recent settlements of cases involving the fatal shootings of unarmed black men, including those of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury in police custody in Baltimore, and Eric Garner in New York.
The settlement between the University of Cincinnati and the DuBose family was mediated by Billy Martin, a Washington lawyer who has represented other prominent figures in the past, including quite a few basketball stars.
The city of Baltimore agreed to pay the family of Gray $6.4 million in September last year.
Garner’s estate will receive $5.9 million from the city of New York, after he was killed during an arrest for a minor offence when an officer used an illegal chokehold on him to restrain him, the New York Times reported.
A further settlement came recently after the death of the hip-hop artist, Kenneth Smith, who was fatally shot by an off-duty officer. A jury ordered that the city of Cleveland would pay $5.5 million to his estate.