An unarmed black man has been fatally shot in the head by an Ohio police officer after a confrontation during a traffic stop.

Samuel Dubose, 43, was stopped by University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing on Sunday (19 July) evening for driving without a front registration plate.

According to the authorities, Mr Dubose continued driving for about a mile before finally pulling over.

Mr Tensing asked to see Mr Dubose's driver's licence. But he instead handed him a bottle of alcohol, according to university police chief Jason Goodrich.

The police officer then asked Mr Dubose to step out of the car, after which a struggle ensued.

"There was a struggle at the door with Mr. Dubose in the vehicle and the officer outside the vehicle, and the vehicle sped away," Cincinnati police Lt. Col. James Whalen told reporters.

Tensing then fired a single shot, hitting the driver in the head. The officer fell to the ground as he fired the shot, bruising his legs and tearing his uniform, Cincinnati police said.

The white police officer then fired a single shot, hitting the driver in the head. Dubose did not appear to have a weapon, police confirmed.

Samuel Dubose was a 43-year-old father of 13 children, according to CNN affiliate WKRC-TV. A CNN records search showed that Dubose had more than 60 arrests.

Mr Dubose's mother, Audrey, told WLWT-TV: "Know that my son was not a violent person. He got stopped a lot but he never tried to fight."

Samuel Dubose's 9-year-old son, also named Samuel, told WKRC, "He was coming home that night and we had a projector so we were going to watch a movie on it but we didn't get to do that ... because he died."

Mr Tensing was wearing a body camera, police said, though the video won't be released until the investigation is complete. They have also received surveillance video from nearby buildings but have yet to view it

The University of Cincinnati has expressed its condolences to the Dubose family. "Our hearts grieve for his loss," the university said in a statement on Tuesday (21 July).

Cincinnati Police Department is handling the investigation. Officer Ray Tensing, who has five years' experience in law enforcement and has worked for the University of Cincinnati Police Department for more than a year, has been placed on paid administrative leave

Jason Goodrich, public safety director and police chief at the University of Cincinnati, said a mutual aid agreement allows university officers to function as officers outside campus grounds.