Hundreds of mourners gathered Tuesday to remember the black man killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer during a traffic stop, as the man’s family announced they hired George Zimmerman’s former attorney to represent them.
Family members paid tribute to Samuel DuBose, 43, with laughter, prayer and speeches at a packed service at the Church of the Living God in Cincinnati.
“I want justice for my son,” his mother, Audrey DuBose, said at a news conference after the service. “I ask for answers, nobody has given me anything.”
“I want the man that murdered my son to pay,” she added.
Meanwhile, the family's attorney, Mark O’Mara, said that the community has a “right to know” what happened when an unarmed DuBose was killed on July 19 after being pulled over for having a missing front license plate, reported NBC affiliate WLWT. O'Mara also addressed his connection with Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
"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.'" O’Mara told WLWT. "Well, honestly, 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 told the station he was contacted by DuBose’s sister because she was impressed by his work in the Zimmerman case.
"She liked the way I handled all the pressures that were put on it and knew that this was going to be a similar type case," he told WLWT.
DuBose was shot in the head by University of Cincinnati police Officer Ray Tensing, investigators said. In a statement released on Monday, the school announced it was hiring an independent reviewer to go over police policies.
“As the result of multiple conversations this past week with community leaders, which were reiterated this morning, the university is initiating a process to hire an independent external reviewer to examine UC Police Department policies, procedures and practices,” the school said in the statement. “We also are moving forward with the creation of a community advisory panel.”
Last week, UC President Santa Ono announced officers would not patrol off-campus streets.
Tensing was wearing a body camera during the incident with DuBose, but Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters won’t release the video until the investigation into the shooting is complete. That could happen as soon as this week.
Meanwhile, DuBose’s family says they won’t give up on fighting for release of the footage as soon as possible.
“I want to see what happened to my son,” Audrey DuBose said.