OHIO – Cop pleads not guilty

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist after stopping him over a missing front licence plate pleaded not guilty today to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Twenty-five-year-old Ray Tensing appeared at his arraignment wearing a striped jail suit, with his hands cuffed behind him. He was indicted yesterday in the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose, of Cincinnati, during a traffic stop.

Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing appearing at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose today.
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing appearing at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose today.

People in the courtroom audience erupted into cheers and clapped when bond was set at $1 million, drawing the ire of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan.

“Ladies and gentlemen! This is a courtroom,” the judge said sharply. “You will conduct yourselves at all times!”

Prosecutors had asked for the $1 million bond. Shanahan rejected the defence’s contention that Tensing wasn’t a flight risk.

“The case will be tried and decided in court,” attorney Stewart Mathews said afterward. He said that there are two sides to the case and that the much viewed body camera video of the stop can be interpreted differently from the prosecutor’s version.

He described Tensing, who is due back in court August 19, as “very depressed” and “in shock at this point”, adding that Tensing had felt “like he’s been run over by a train from the start of this case and it continues”.

DuBose’s family has urged the community to remain calm, as it has in a series of demonstrations since the shooting. Tensing had stopped DuBose for a missing front licence plate, which is required in Ohio but not in neighbouring states.

DuBose’s death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African Americans, especially those killed by officers. DuBose was black; Tensing is white. Authorities so far have not focused on race in the death of DuBose. City officials who viewed video footage from Tensing’s body camera said the traffic stop shouldn’t have led to a shooting.

“This officer was wrong,” Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said yesterday, adding that officers “have to be held accountable” when they’re in the wrong.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters scoffed at Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by DuBose’s car, saying the officer “purposely killed him”. Using words such as “asinine” and “senseless”, the veteran prosecutor known for tough stands on urban crime called it “a chicken crap” traffic stop.

“It was so unnecessary,” Deters said. He added that Tensing “should never have been a police officer.”

Tensing, who was jailed overnight yesterday, was fired soon after the indictment was announced. He had been with the University of Cincinnati for more than a year after starting police work in 2011 in a Cincinnati suburb. He also had earned a UC degree in criminal justice.

Mathews said yesterday that he was shocked that his client was indicted on a murder charge and that Tensing did not intend to kill DuBose.

Tensing, who could face up to life in prison if convicted, has said he thought he was going to be dragged under the car and “feared for his life”, Mathews said.

Mathews said a video from the body camera of a police officer who arrived right after the shooting shows Tensing lying in the street after he had gotten free of the car, but that video hasn’t been released by authorities.

“With the political climate in this country with white police officers shooting black individuals, I think they need somebody to make an example of,” Mathews said.

Authorities have said Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose failed to provide a driver’s licence and refused to get out of the car.

“I didn’t even do nothing,” DuBose can be heard telling Tensing. DuBose held up what appears to be a bottle of gin.

Tensing fired once, striking DuBose in the head.

Aubrey DuBose, the victim’s brother, called the shooting “senseless” and “unprovoked”. He said the family is upset but wants any reaction to the case to be non-violent and done in a way that honours his brother’s style.

“Sam was peaceful,” he said. “He lived peaceful. And in his death, we want to remain peaceful. Like my mum said, let God fight the battle.”

Source: (AP)

6 Responses to OHIO – Cop pleads not guilty

  1. Suzette Clarke
    Suzette Clarke July 31, 2015 at 5:59 am

    How did it become so easy for white officers to take black lives?

    • Adrian M Chase
      Adrian M Chase July 31, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Ask the US Supreme Court.

    • Buddy Love
      Buddy Love July 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

      It has become easy because black people refuses to stand up and be counted. A riot only makes things worse. Stop shopping in the stores, boycott the town financially and it will change.

    • Suzette Clarke
      Suzette Clarke July 31, 2015 at 10:49 am

      I am not sure that anything will change even if blacks use their economic power. It just seems to me, and I have to admit that I am far removed from the situation in the U.S.A , that these officers don’t seem to value the blacks as being worthy of occupying the same space as them. I am sure that in some of these cases that we have been hearing about, less deadly force could have been used to diffuse the situation. But no, it is shoot first. It is really sad that some humans don’t seem to value others.

  2. VOICE OF WISDOM July 31, 2015 at 6:24 am

    These senseless killings of blacks by white police officers will continue unfortunately, simply because of racial profiling. Racism is deep rooted and can not be overcome unless people’s minds are changed and renewed by the Word of God and love of Jesus Christ. This world needs to get back to the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow His example. The only way for each group to protect themselves is by being fully equipped with the Full Armour of God. I encourage each of us not only to become knowledgeable with the Armour of God, but to wear it constantly. Those who have ears, let them hear.

  3. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt July 31, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Wait, isn’t the president of the supposedly most powerful nation in the world black? Or, is all he interested in is legalising “gay” marriages


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