Ohio grand jury indicts university police officer for murder

The New York Times is reporting,

A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted on murder charges on Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a driver this month.

In the indictment handed down by a grand jury in Hamilton County, the officer, Ray Tensing, is accused of killing the driver, Samuel DuBose, during a traffic stop near the campus on July 19. At a news conference, the county prosecutor, Joe Deters, said that Officer Tensing “purposely killed” Mr. DuBose after the officer lost his temper.

According to the officer’s video above, which was recorded by the officer’s body cam, Tensing stopped DuBose because he was driving a vehicle without a front license plate, which is a traffic violation. The initial observation and the stop took place off campus. Although University of Cincinnati police officers have authority to stop and cite people off campus for traffic violations, they rarely do so. The county prosecutor, Joe Deters, characterized the stop as “what we call in the vernacular a pretty chicken-crap stop.” In my opinion, this is also an apt description of Texas State Trooper Brian Encina’s stop of Sandra Bland on July 10th for failing to signal a lane change.

When Samuel DuBose was unable to produce a driver’s license, Officer Tensing started opening the driver’s side door and ordered him to get out of the car. Instead of complying, Sam DuBose pulled the door shut and attempted to drive away. Tensing drew his gun and shot him in the head at point-blank range killing him.

This is similar to what happened in South Carolina last April when Patrolman Michael Slager, who is white, shot Walter Scott, who is black, four times in the back killing him as Scott attempted to run away after a traffic stop.

Another similarity is Tensing lied to his fellow officers about what happened. He said DuBose struggled with him. The video disproves that.

The legal rule in both cases is the same: A police officer may not use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect unless he reasonably believes the suspect is armed and presents a danger to himself or to the public. Patrolman Slager and now Officer Tensing have been indicted for murder because the people they killed were not armed and there was no reason to believe they were dangerous to others.

Mr. DuBose was 43-years-old. He was the father of 10 children.

Officer Tensing was 25-years-old. He had been a police officer for four years. He was fired today by the campus police.

He turned himself in.

21 Responses to Ohio grand jury indicts university police officer for murder

  1. a2nite says:

    We’ll see if there is a conviction.

  2. so jaded says:

    Police union filed grievance to get ray tensing reinstated. Tbey claimed CU did not follow protocol when firing him. If he gets reinstated and he probably will hell will break out. I don’t think he will even b convicted. I pray I am wrong but…cops hardly ever get diciplined. Even on the rare occasions that tbey kill and abuse white people.

    • bettykath says:

      He is part of a contract that requires some sort of process. So the university puts him back on the payroll and lets him shuffle papers (or not) while they do due process.

  3. ed nelson says:

    Well video such as it is… you can’t be sure if what you put up there is the same thing I see on this end…. there’s a lot of wiiggle room there if you get my drift….

    What I want to say to all the young people and oldsters too!: is: don’t argue with these guys!!!! Do not argue with them!!!

  4. bettykath says:

    The incident report linked to earlier seems to be well written. The writer related what he was told and identified who said what. He suggested doubt in what the corroborating officer actually saw.

  5. Disappointed says:

    It looked to me like when the officer asked him to remove seatbelt his foot slipped off of brake. Maybe the car rolled a little. No way did he deserve to be shot in head. Maybe instead of the cop accusing him of not having license he could have ran his name. He offered it to the police officer more than once.

  6. Ignore the troll ^^^^

    I hope the next thing we hear isn’t “it was an accident.”

    • That wouldn’t dovetail very well with his story that DuBose attempted to flee and dragged him down the street almost killing him thereby forcing him to shoot in self-defense.

      • It seems that in some cases, the stories do change radically. What do you think will happen? What defense will be promoted – perhaps remorse to shorten the sentence? Victim-bashing to elevate the shooter? What do you think will the defense attorney come up with?

        • Your comment about the defense claiming that it was an accident was prescient because the defense attorney is making that claim. That’s probably the best chance he’s got, but it conflicts with the cops own statement and the statement of another cop who claims to have witnessed the shooting.

          Here’s the Incident Report.

          Brings up the specter of the following cross question: “Were you lying when you told the police that you fired in self-defense or are you lying now when you just told the jury that it was an accident?”

          • so jaded says:

            His lawyer will b claiming self defense. The lawyer claims the video exonorated him. Is it true that the other cops changed their story after learning of the video?

  7. ed nelson says:

    I watched the video up to the point where there was some kind of trouble, I thought the officer was quite nice, the guy was lying about his license, that came accross reall well!

    The video goes completely off the rails” after the confrontation, I couldn’t make any sense of it.

    I would take the side of the cop, from what I saw.

    • Check the video again. I believe you’ll see that the cop shot him in the left temple area, basically blowing his head apart right afterDuBosee shut his door that the cop had opened. The cop actually never asked him to get out of the car (he told him to unbuckle his seatbelt) and DuBose did not make any effort to drive away.

      BTW, the license plate was in the glove compartment and I believe he had a current valid license. He just forgot it at home.

      • ed nelson says:

        no Fred, the video isn’t showing anything past the point that it goes shakey, none of the graphic details that you speak of.

        I am sure you have a better copy… and that you are correct about it…


        • bettykath says:

          Ed, watch the video again. Cop shoots right after DuBose shuts the door. You can see his gun for an instant. I suspect that DuBose died instantly and his foot fell off the brake allowing the car to roll forward.

  8. Jack says:

    Shocking, disturbing and sad all at once.

    Is it just me, or have minor traffic violations seemed to have escalated into much more these days?

    The driver’s name and license plate has been secured already. Should he attempt to leave (as in this case), What’s wrong with simply getting back into one’s cruiser, notifying dispatch to alert others of this development, and simply pursuing him in close proximity with the safety of the general public in mind?

    There seems to be a rather disturbing trend/pattern presenting itself these days over and over again. Yes, it was wrong for Mr. DuBose to flee, but was taking his life warranted over a traffic stop?

    How does anyone justify killing an unarmed fellow human being?

    • Is it just me, or have minor traffic violations seemed to have escalated into much more these days?

      It’s not just you. There’s an epidemic of these stops going on nationwide.

      • Jack says:

        Is this a matter of sensitivity training?, or lack thereof?

        Many moons ago, when I was with the sheriff’s department in a smaller, rural county in comparison to the much bigger and more sophisticated City of Cincinnati, it was drilled into us that the only time to draw your weapon is when deadly force was warranted.

        What’s changed?!

        Since when have routine traffic stops warranted shoot first and ask questions later…I’m not saying take any smit from anybody, but certainly engage the public in a respectful and responsible manner (dragging members of the opposite sex out of their cars and pounding their heads into the ground, or shooting unarmed fellow human beings just doesn’t seem indicative of “serve & protect”.)

        How did something so senseless happen here?, when all that should have transpired should have been issuance of a ticket, and a fair choice to get out and mount one’s front plate to continue on his journey, or handle towing and retrieval expenses from the city lot…

        • Tzar says:

          it’s a matter of this is what this guy does
          here us another stop by him
          “Not sure if posted already, but this is another cop stop video of Tensing, which is almost as damaging and proves he has a pattern to his actions.
          He stops a car for having some damage to the bumper, then tries to demand the information and name of the passenger and even opens the door. He’s a liar and shuts up when the supervisor comes..its actually quite hilarious. RIP DuBose..”

          • Tzar is this on YouTube??? I would love to share it. What a piece of work this ex cop is. SMH I am outdone. RIP Sam Dubose.

          • bettykath says:

            Is a car not road worthy if it has a damaged bumper? The supervisor did the right thing: verified that the car wasn’t part of a hit and run. A ticket is necessary? Write the damn thing and wish all a good evening. This is a wanna be cop. More interested in harassing people than doing a good job. He should not have a badge or a gun. They should have pulled him after this stop. I wonder how many other stops that he made are like this one? The men in this video are lucky he didn’t shoot them for, well, just because.

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