(Reuters) - The family of a black man shot and killed last summer by a University of Cincinnati police officer during a traffic stop sued the officer in federal court on Friday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.
Former officer Raymond Tensing has already been charged with murder in the death of Samuel DuBose, 43. Tensing had initially claimed that he shot DuBose during an off-campus stop because he was being dragged by DuBose’s car.
An independent investigation by Kroll Inc. last year found that DuBose’s car was barely moving or not moving at all when the officer fired his gun and the incident was “entirely preventable.”
Police use of lethal force, especially by white officers against unarmed blacks and other minorities, has been the focus of nationwide protests, and the killing of DuBose also fueled demonstrations. DuBose was black and Tensing is white.
Tensing has pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter, and goes to trial in October.
The family of Dubose claim in the lawsuit that Tensing used excessive force during the encounter, and have asked for unspecified compensatory damages and legal fees, the Enquirer report said. Lawyers for the family and for Tensing were not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Steve Bittenbender in Louisville; Editing by Alistair Bell