A former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed a motorist in Mount Auburn, Ohio, has been charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. Former officer Ray Tensing, a one-year veteran of the university’s police force, was arraigned Thursday morning; he pled not guilty and bond was set at $1 million.
Tensing stopped a motorist, Samuel DuBose, on July 19 for allegedly operating a vehicle without a valid registration sticker. As captured on Tensing’s police body camera, the event quickly spiraled out of control as Tensing demanded DuBose to exit his car.
DuBose is shown on the video refusing to exit the vehicle and as Dubose’s vehicle proceeded to move away from the scene, Tensing is seen reaching into the car to stop DuBose from operating the car. Tensing is then captured on video firing into the car and striking DuBose in the head.
When addressing the media at a press conference, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters stated:
“I have been doing this for 30 years, and this is the most asinine act by a police officer I have ever seen. This is without question a murder. It is our belief that he was not dragged. If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very slow period of time from when the car starts rolling to when a gun is out and he’s shot in the head. He wasn’t dealing with someone who was wanted for murder. He was dealing for someone who was wanted for not having a front license plate. I’m treating him like a murderer,” Deter said.
Stuart Matthews, attorney for Tensing, said the former police officer feared for his life. If convicted, Tensing faces a 15-year-to-life sentence.
DuBose sister, Cleshawn DuBose, spoke to CNN and said her family is reeling. “We’re devastated, it’s heartbreaking. The family is heartbroken,” she said of her slain brother.
A second sister of DuBose, Terina DuBose Allen, praised the additional evidence provided by police body cameras.
“The presence of body cameras helped bring the story to light,” she said. “I think that if there had not been a body camera, that Sam would have been left with the memory of everyone saying he was basically trying to kill a police officer. They would have turned a nonviolent man who was loved into a poster child for violence against police officers.”
Tensing’s next court appearance in August 19.
[RT News] [CNN]