The University of Cincinnati has agreed to pay $4.85 million to the family of an unarmed black man who was shot to death in July by one of its police officers, as well as provide a free undergraduate education to his 12 children and establish a memorial in his name, university officials announced Monday.
The family of Samuel DuBose, who was killed by a white officer during a routine traffic stop in what a prosecutor called a “senseless, asinine shooting,” reached the settlement after two days of mediation, the university said. It estimated the total cost to the university at $5.3 million.
The agreement includes a promise that the university president, Santa J. Ono, will apologize to the DuBose family. In the statement, Mr. Ono called the settlement “part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities,” and said he wanted to reiterate “our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of life.”
The university officer who shot Mr. DuBose, Ray Tensing, was charged with murder. The death, amid an intense national debate over race and policing, raised questions about whether the university’s police force had the experience and training required to enforce laws in complex urban neighborhoods.
As part of the settlement, the university will invite the DuBose family to attend and participate in meetings of a community advisory committee that is considering changes to the university police department.
The deal, mediated by Billy Martin, a Washington lawyer whose clients have included basketball stars and other prominent figures, appears in line with other recent settlements of cases involving police officers. The City of Baltimore agreed in September to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury in police custody.
The estate of Eric Garner, who died in New York after an officer used a chokehold, a banned maneuver, to restrain him, settled with the city for $5.9 million. And in Cleveland, a jury awarded $5.5 million to the estate of Kenneth Smith, a hip-hop artist who was fatally shot by an off-duty officer.
SOURCE: N.Y. Times – Sheryl Gay Stolberg