A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Ray Tensing — the University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man last month — on murder charges.
Tensing shot Samuel DuBose, a father of ten, during a July 19 traffic stop near the university campus. According to the New York Times, DuBose was stopped after Tensing noticed the green Honda Accord he was driving did not have a front license plate. When Tensing asked for DuBose’s license, the 43-year-old reportedly handed him a bottle of alcohol. At some point, the officer fired one shot into Dubose’s head.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the Wednesday press conference to announce the indictment, handed down by a grand jury in Hamilton County, prosecutor Joe Deters said Tensing “purposely killed” DuBose. Deters, who says he was “shocked” after watching the nearly 10-minute video of the encounter, told reporters the incident “shouldn’t have happened.”
“It was so unnecessary for this to have occurred,” Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters told a televised news conference in Cincinnati. “This situation should never have escalated like this.”
“I’m treating him like a murderer. They’re out to get him,” Deters said.
Despite claims made by Tensing in the initial police report that he was dragged during the incident, causing him to fear for his life, Deters confirmed that the story was “nonsense,” adding that the dirt from Tensing’s uniform came from him falling backwards after he shot DuBose.
The University of Cincinnati campus was shut down in preparation for the grand jury announcement. This week, DuBose’s family held a news conference to announce that George Zimmerman’s former attorney will represent them in a case against the city.
The disturbing video of DuBose’s death was released to the public Wednesday.
This is the first time in history an on-duty Cincinnati police officer has been indicted in the shooting of a civilian. Tensing could face 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
SOURCE: NYT | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN