Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Many Issues With The Dubose Shooting

So having finally watched the entire interaction between Dubose and Tensing. There are a lot of issues here BEFORE the shooting even occurred. Let me say this first. For 20 years I have driven my car with a custom front plate in a state that requires 2 identical license plates on a personal vehicle. I have done so with the full knowledge that at any time I may be stopped by the police for having such a setup or come back to my vehicle to find a ticket for not having the plate. I repeat: I FULLY understand that my actions will bring the attention of the police. And I have had the attention of the police. I don't act a fool when this happens. I take my warning or ticket, pay it, and move along. If I don't want the attention of the police I put the proper plate on. This is my choice.

This leads us to Dubose. In the video he claims that it was legal to have only one plate on his car when in fact it was not. I have lived in states that only require one plate and you know what? They ONLY give you one plate. States that give you TWO plates do so because it is what the law requires. So either Dubose was a total idiot OR he knew full well he was lying to try to get out of a ticket. Why not simply admit you took it off? Instead Dubose lied about having the plate in his glove box. So having established himself as a liar on top of not having the required plate, Officer Tensing probably thought he had a possible car thief. Had the Dubose produced the plate, the interaction would have probably ended there (as mine have) but his lack of product lead to more interaction.

Next thing Dubose does is hand the police office a closed bottle of liquor from the driver side floor. Now I don't know the specific laws in Ohio, but I think if you hand a police officer a bottle of gin off the driver side floor of your car, a police officer will think that you were about to do the drinking and driving thing. That's a felony. Now possessing alcohol in your car is not illegal. But I'm going to ask why this bottle was on the driver's side floor.

Now Dubose knew full well that he didn't have his license and registration with him yet he lied and said he had it in the glove box. He was asked multiple times to produce his license by Tensing who actually had a right to ask him to produce that. So lets add the suspicious moments up:

1) Driving with a missing front plate.
2) Having a bottle of Gin on the driver's side floor.
3) Failure to produce a current driver's license.

At that point Tensing asks for Dubose to step out of his vehicle. This was a lawful order unlike the situation with Sandra Bland. Sandra bland produced the papers asked for and had complied with all orders up to that point. There was no probable cause to remove Bland from her vehicle. Dubose on the other hand, had no front plate as required by law and was driving without a license. If you're stopped and cannot produce your license expect to be asked to step out of the vehicle especially if there are issues with the vehicle like a missing plate. If you hand the officer a bottle of Gin too, well yeah, expect to be asked to exit the vehicle.

And this is where Dubose really messed up. When he refused to exit the vehicle, even though he KNEW he had no license on him, HE escalated the situation by pulling back on his door. This is one of the things that bothered my about the commentary I read. Someone said that being stopped for not having a front plate "inflames African-Americans." Lets address this bullshit right now. As I said earlier, I have a custom front plate. I cannot be "inflamed" because a police officer decides to enforce the motor vehicles law that I knowingly violated and decide I'm not going to cooperate. Also the statement implies that there are laws that African-Americans don't have to obey simply because they don't like them. That is a very very dangerous concept for any so called leader to advance. African-Americans have to obey the same laws every body else does, whether they like them or not. If they don't like them, they are free to vote in representatives to change those laws.

It is entirely reasonable to say that Tensing thought that perhaps Dubose was more than just a guy missing a front plate once Dubose refused to exit the car and doubled down by pulling closed his door. However, after that Tensing is completely in the wrong. I don't know if he forgot that he had a body cam on him, but his lying about what happened after that was totally unnecessary. Watching the video, he could easily have said that Dubose refused to exit the vehicle after a lawful stop and not having a license and became combative when he was being removed from the vehicle resulting in a shot. It was Tensing's lie that changed the situation. He was not being dragged. he fell as the car took off.

I don't think Tensing will be found guilty of murder. The video from the body cam does not prove malice or forethought. Tensing is definitely guilty of fraud for the statement he made in regards to being dragged. He might even be guilty of criminally negligent homicide because one could argue that pulling his gun and firing was reckless in that situation. However, the fact that we know that Dubose had no license and no front plate and had resisted lawful orders made after those discoveries (because they establish probable cause) will almost certainly lead to an acquittal if this goes to trial.