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UC Releases Independent Investigative Report on July 19 Officer-Involved Shooting


UC released an independent report by Kroll Inc. Kroll conducted an extensive review and investigation of the shooting of Samuel DuBose, of police officer Ray Tensing’s actions, and the UC Police Department’s actions. The report concludes: The fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose never should have occurred.

Date: 9/11/2015 12:30:00 PM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Other Contact: Michele Ralston
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-5663
Photos By: Joe Fuqua

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati today released a report by an external reviewer on the July 19, 2015, officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Samuel DuBose.



Kroll Inc., one of the nation’s leading investigative firms, provides professional investigative consulting expertise, including fact finding and critical analysis. Kroll was retained on July 31, 2015, to:
  • Conduct an extensive, independent review, covering all aspects of the July 19 shooting.
  • Analyze all UC Police Department (UCPD) personnel actions related to events of July 19.
  • Evaluate the actions of all UCPD personnel who responded to the scene including officers David Lindenschmidt and Philip Kidd.
The Kroll Report includes recommendations based upon a thorough investigation and review of UCPD policies and procedures directly related to the events of July 19 and of all UCPD personnel actions associated with the shooting.

UC President Santa J. Ono said, “From the outset, we believed that we owed it to everyone involved to pursue a complete review of the events of that day, and let the facts guide us in taking the necessary steps to address any policy, training, staffing and hiring issues.”

According to the report, “The fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose during an off-campus traffic stop on July 19 never should have occurred. This incident, which resulted in a tragic loss of life, was entirely preventable.”



Kroll found that while Officer Tensing’s initial dealings with Mr. DuBose were appropriate, he then “made critical errors in judgment and exercised poor police tactics that created a hazard of serious bodily injury or death and heightened the risks of a dangerous escalation.” Nevertheless, Kroll states that it makes no findings as to the guilt or innocence of Officer Tensing in his criminal proceedings.

Kroll also evaluated the actions of all the UCPD personnel who responded to the scene that day, including the observations and statements of the two officers who were the first to respond: UCPD officers Philip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt.

Although there appeared to be some discrepancies in the initial police report, Kroll’s evaluation of the observations and statements of officers Lindenschmidt and Kidd found that there was no evidence that Officer Kidd attempted to cover up for Officer Tensing or that he and Tensing in any way conspired to present a false narrative of what occurred during the traffic stop. According to the report: “Officer Kidd’s statements to CPD (Cincinnati Police Department) and to Kroll are consistent with, and do not contradict, the video footage captured on the body cameras worn by Tensing, Kidd, and Lindenschmidt.”

Kroll’s independent findings related to officers Kidd and Lindenschmidt are in line with the determinations of the Hamilton County prosecutor and grand jury, announced on July 31, 2015. At that time, it was announced by the prosecutor that no charges were warranted, as both officers provided truthful statements regarding what they witnessed to City of Cincinnati police investigators.

In addition, Kroll assessed the traffic stop, the use of deadly force, the police department’s response to the incident, and the truthfulness and cooperation of UCPD officers with the Cincinnati Police Department. Kroll interviewed 20 witnesses, including the UCPD chief and 16 officers and supervisors. Kroll met with members of the Cincinnati Police Homicide Division and the Hamilton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys assigned to the case. Kroll had access to investigative reports, diagrams and photographs, audio recordings, and the written transcripts of statements provided to CPD by the officers involved.

Kroll also obtained and reviewed the video and audio of the body cameras of eight UCPD officers, including those who were present when the shooting occurred and those who responded to the crime scene.

The Kroll Report found that the other UCPD personnel who responded to the scene acted “properly, professionally and in accordance with UCPD policies and procedures. A review of all of the evidence, body camera recordings, witness statements, and documentation shows that, with a few exceptions, the actions of UCPD personnel immediately following the July 19 police shooting were proper and in accordance with UCPD policies and procedures.”

Robin Engel, UC vice president for safety and reform, appointed by President Ono to coordinate the multiple external investigations of the University of Cincinnati Police Department, stated,“We contracted with Kroll Inc. to conduct an independent review of the UCPD officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Samuel DuBose. We are committed to providing a transparent examination into the facts of this incident, and using the results of this investigation to help set an agenda for our reform efforts. Moving forward, we will work to rebuild community trust by focusing on effective, fair and equitable policing guided by evidence-based practices.”

President Ono announced Engel’s appointment on Aug. 4. Soon after, the university also hired James Whalen as director of public safety and S. Gregory Baker as director of police community relations.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
As part of its comprehensive review of the facts surrounding the officer-involved shooting and the actions of the UCPD, Kroll was asked to supply a series of recommendations. Based upon a review of these recommendations, the University of Cincinnati is committed to the following:
  • Conducting an independent, top-to-bottom review and evaluation of the policies, procedures, training, and hiring practices of UCPD, including a review of its in-house and in-service training standards, curriculum and field training modules.
  • UCPD will review the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Cincinnati in accordance with UCPD’s mission to provide safety and security for UC students and the university community. In that regard, UC will review the parameters of UC Police patrols in the areas near the campus. Currently, more than 87 percent of UC’s student body (more than 44,000 students) lives in off-campus housing, with an estimated 10,000-15,000 living in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the Uptown Campus. There have been significant declines in robberies in and around the campus. Since 2008, the rate of student robbery victimization in the areas around campus has declined about 36 percent (35.9 percent) and robbery victimization of non-students in the areas around campus has declined nearly 60 percent (57.8 percent).  
  • UCPD will review all protocols involved in the use of deadly force, including toxicology testing and post-incident reviews of officers.
  • UCPD will enhance the experiential learning environments and skill sets of its officers to include more extensive training in urban policing and adopt best practices with regard to the investigation of serious crimes and engaging with diverse multi-ethnic communities.
  • Designing and implementing enhanced cultural diversity and competency training for all UCPD police officers in order to supply officers with the skills necessary to interact with a diverse community.
  • Creating a more diverse police force that reflects the university and the surrounding communities

James Whalen, director of public safety, said, “The report from Kroll provides a road map for the university and our senior public safety staff to work closely with the police chief and our officers to implement change, to make our agency more responsive to community concerns, better trained, more diverse, and a model for urban university policing. I can assure you that we take the recommendations outlined in the report very seriously. We can be agents of change and still maintain a very visible police force that can continue to reduce crime against our students and community members.”

S. Gregory Baker, director of police community relations, said, “The comprehensive review of the actions of the UCPD presents some very compelling observations and a course of action that will make both the university and its police department a better and more responsive community partner. One of the most pressing issues facing communities of color across the nation is their relationship with their local police force. It is in everyone’s interest to improve this dynamic, repair damage where necessary, and together build a better working relationship based upon mutual respect that will ensure public safety.”