Grand Jury Indicts UC Officer On Murder Charge In Traffic Stop Shooting
A Hamilton County grand jury has returned a murder indictment against a white University of Cincinnati police officer accused of shooting and killing an African American man during a traffic stop. Alison Holm has more.
Speaking at a press conference in Cincinnati this afternoon, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said he thinks Officer Ray Tensing lost his temper and "purposely killed" 43-year old Samuel Dubose, and that Tensing "should never have been a police officer." The prosecutor's office today released the body cam video from July 19, when Tensing stopped Dubose for not having a front license plate. The incident, which took place on the edge of the inner city campus and lasted less than 3 minutes, started affably.
Tensing asks Dubose about the missing license plate from the front of the car, and asks for his drivers license. As Dubose searches for the license, Tensing asks about a bottle on the floor, and is handed a nearly full bottle of gin. Tensing asks several times for the license, which Dubose says he has, but not with him
As Tensing begins to open the drivers door, Dubose attempts to pull the door closed again. At that point, Tensing claims Debose began to drive away, dragging the officer alongside, and that he shot into the door in self-defense. The video shows Tensing sprinting half a block to where the car has come to a stop on the sidewalk. Dubose's sister Terina Allen say the police video vindicates her brother, and shows he had no gun, didn't harm the officer and didn't deserve to be shot. She thanked the prosecutor for acting so quickly in the case. The family's attorney is encouraging people to react calmly in light of the indictment, and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says city police officers must respect the rights of citizens to protest publicly. UC President Santa Ono says the university police department is reviewing policies and will make necessary changes, including on hiring policies and in the training of officers.