Hundreds come to funeral services for Cincinnati man killed during traffic stop

CINCINNATI (WLWT) —A man shot and killed during a traffic stop near the University of Cincinnati was laid to rest Tuesday as questions about his death remain.

Hundreds attended Sam Dubose’s services at the Church of the Living God on Forest Avenue on Tuesday morning.

“Despite all that’s going on outside, today we’re here to celebrate the life of this man,” Pastor Ennis Tait said.

Several family members spoke of their favorite memories of Dubose, amidst songs and scripture. Tait had hundreds on their feet, clapping and celebrating the life of Sam Dubose with the words “Let’s fill the room with love.”

Throughout the two-hour funeral for Dubose, his penchant for fun and humor was mentioned many times.

“On your worst day,” said one of his motorcycle chums, “Sam will make you laugh.”

Two women, identifying themselves as “Lovely” and “Honey,” are part of the motorcycle club community Dubose rode with and reveled in for years. He helped found the Ruthless Riders.

“Riding a bike itself was just a sense of freedom and bein’ able to be you and enjoy life, enjoy the open road. It was about the ride,” Dubose friend Angela “Honey” Holt said.

“What’s making people so angry is we know him,” LaLaura “Lovely” Goodwin said. “The public don’t know him. You know, all of a sudden they are going to assume he was a certain kind of person. Because he was black, African-American, he was dread. So, they got a certain perceptions behind that. But, actually he was a very nice, sweet person and he loved his family.”

Dubose was shot once in the head by UC Police Officer Ray Tensing on July 19. Tensing had pulled Dubose over for not having a front license plate, authorities have said.

Police said Dubose couldn’t produce a driver’s license, and according to Tensing, attempted to drive away.

“I almost got run over by the car. He took off on me. I discharged one round, struck the male in the head,” Tensing told dispatchers on the radio.

According to the incident report, Tensing said he was attempting a traffic stop, when at some point he was dragged by Dubose’s vehicle.

Dubose’s family says they want to see video from a body camera Tensing was wearing, but Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters says the video won’t be released until the grand jury finishes later this week.

“If we can come together in here, we must come together out there,” Tait said.

The attorney who defended George Zimmerman, Mark O’Mara, is now working for Dubose’s family.

“Some people look and say, ‘Well, wait a minute, he represented the guy who killed a young black male and that’s the opposite of what we have here today.’ Well I don’t think it is. I represent people who are within the court system who are grieved in one way or another,” O’Mara said.

After the service, the Dubose family spoke. Click here to watch family’s news conference on WLWT.

Mayor John Cranley, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, UC President Santa Ono, City Manager Harry Black, Councilman Wendell Young And State Senator Cecil Thomas were among the civic leaders who were there to offer words to console the family.

Thomas told said serious dialogue needs to follow in the days ahead without delay so that the reform progress of the past decade isn’t eroded.

In a written statement, Bishop Bobby Hilton praised the family for the manner in which they’ve handled such a tragic and personal loss, urging the community to follow the family’s example in its peaceful quest for justice and the truth of what happened two Sundays ago. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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