Cops Stick Together Even When They’re Wrong

James DuBose is one of the latest victims of police brutality in America. Within 5 minutes of being pulled over for not having a front license plate, DuBose was shot in the head and killed by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.

In the initial police report, Tensing claimed he was being dragged by the vehicle and was forced to shoot the driver in self-defense. Several officers corroborated Tensing’s story.

Yet, video footage of the actual incident shows Tensing shooting DuBose in the head before the vehicle started moving.


Thanks to the body camera footage that captured the incident, Tensing was fired and has been charged with murder. Without this footage, I’m certain Tensing’s report would not have been questioned.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said a prosecution became urgent “especially after we saw the tape.”

“I think it’s a good idea for police to wear [body cameras],” Deters said when he was asked if there would have been a prosecution without the video. “Because nine times out of 10 it clears them of wrongdoing. And in this case, it obviously led to an indictment for murder.”

Mark O’Mara, a lawyer representing Dubose’s family, was even more forceful.

“If it were not for that video camera, Sam would be no different than all of the other [unindicted police shootings of black men], because the second officer was ready to corroborate every lie that the first officer said in the report,” Allen said.

Allen raised the important point that Tensing’s story that he was dragged by the car before shooting—which Deters roundly rejected and cannot be seen anywhere in the video—was backed up by his fellow officers.

Reading the initial police report after having watched the video is a frightful lesson on the lengths to which officers will go to protect one another.

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There are thousands of cases with police officers planting evidence, profiling and attacking innocent people, and in nearly every case, these police departments continue to protect and shield their crooked flock.

But are we even surprised?

Marcus Jeter is a prime example of this. He was facing 8-10 years in prison for assaulting police officers until dash cam video “surfaced” over a year later that showed the truth: the officers pulled him over and proceeded to attack him, yelling out “stop trying to take my gun” and “stop resisting” in order to build a case against him.

In a detailed interview with New York radio station Hot 97, Jeter describes his saga in detail:

As we saw with the Eric Garner case, video footage of police misconduct doesn’t always result in charges filed against the offending officer. However, as we saw in the Walter Scott case as well as the James DuBose case, video footage can result in an indictment.

However, two questions still remain: (1) will these murderers cops be found guilty of their crimes, and (2) will we ever see the day when law enforcement values integrity and fairness over loyalty?