University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was indicted on murder charges today in the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop on July 19. In response, Amnesty International USA issued the following statement:
“Today’s indictment is a painful reminder that hundreds of men and women are killed by the police every year in the United States. Lethal force should be an absolute last resort, but law enforcement officers use it with alarming frequency. While there are no official statistics, it appears to be disproportionately used against blacks.
“Ohio, like eight other states and the District of Columbia, has no statute on the use of lethal force by law enforcement. Samuel DuBose’s death, which has been labeled ‘totally unwarranted’ and ‘senseless’ by the county prosecutor, underscores the urgent need for reform.
“Law enforcement officers in the United States must be bound by law to only use lethal force as a last resort when necessary to protect themselves or others against imminent threat of death or serious injury. We strongly urge Ohio legislators to take action and place necessary and appropriate restrictions on deadly force that include clear accountability measures. We also call on law enforcement in Cincinnati and beyond to respect the right to peacefully protest.”
In June, Amnesty International USA issued a report on the use of lethal force by law enforcement: Deadly Force: Police Use of Lethal Force in the United States.