Samuel Dubose “just liked being around people,” according to one of his sons. The 47-year-old Cincinnati entrepreneur had been a rapper and music producer under the Forever Entertainment record label. He was crazy about motorcycles, so he started a motorcycle club. Like many Black men, he had been caught in the vicious cycle of being nickel-and-dimed over endless traffic citations. He was the father of thirteen kids aged from 4 to 23, who described him as “full of love” and who made them feel “amazing, like you’re on top of the world.” On July 17, he proposed to his girlfriend of 16 years.
Samuel Dubose was murdered by police two days later, on July 19, 2015, over a missing front license plate. Spotted by a campus cop patrolling near the University of Cincinnati, he pulled Samuel over. The cop, who had a history of pulling over Black drivers (sometimes unlawfully), asked for Samuel’s license, but Samuel was driving without his. When the cop opened Samuel’s door and told him to exit the vehicle, he closed the door and put the car into drive, preparing to flee. The cop shot him in the head before he could. He would lie that he had been dragged by the car and fired in self-defense, though this was disproved by his bodycam. The cop was fired and indicted for murder and manslaughter, though after two mistrials all charges were dismissed. He was compensated $350,000 for his firing.
Black lives matter.