Opening arguments set for murder trial of
ex-Cincinnati university cop
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[November 01, 2016]
By Ginny McCabe
CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Opening arguments in
the trial of a former University of Cincinnati police officer charged
with murdering a black Ohio man during a traffic stop are scheduled to
begin on Tuesday.
Body camera video of the stop in July 2015 showed Samuel DuBose, 43, was
shot in the head by officer Ray Tensing, 26, after he was pulled over
for a missing front license plate on his vehicle.
DuBose attempted to prevent the officer from opening the car door before
the car started slowly rolling forward. Tensing, who is white, pulled
his gun and fired once.
Use of lethal force by police, especially by white officers against
unarmed blacks and other minorities, has been the focus of nationwide
protests, and the killing of DuBose fueled demonstrations.
Tensing's trial is one of two high-profile cases involving former police
officers who fatally shot unarmed black motorists that are under way.
In South Carolina, Michael Slager, a white North Charleston officer is
on trial for shooting Walter Scott eight times in the back as he fled in
Since 2005, 27 of 77 officers charged across the country with murder or
manslaughter after an on-duty fatal shooting were convicted, said Philip
Stinson, a Bowling Green State University associate professor who tracks
such cases. Twenty-nine of those criminal cases ended with no
conviction, while cases for 21 of those officers are pending.
The 12-person jury in Tensing's trial was selected on Monday in Hamilton
County Court of Common Pleas and opening statements will begin after
jurors visit the scene of the fatal traffic stop, court officials said.
Tensing feared being dragged under the car as DuBose tried to drive
away, Tensing's attorney, Stew Mathews, previously said. Hamilton County
prosecutor Joseph Deters last year called DuBose's death unwarranted and
described the traffic stop as "pretty chicken crap."
[to top of second column]
University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing (R) stands near
a car after driver Samuel Dubose was allegedly pulled over and shot
during a traffic stop in Cincinnati, Ohio July 19, 2015, in a still
image from body camera video released by the Hamilton County
Prosecutor's Office on July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Hamilton County
Prosecutor's Office/Handout via Reuters
Judge Megan Shanahan previously ruled in a pre-trial hearing that
DuBose's medical and criminal records as well as his toxicology
reports showing marijuana in his system could not be used as
evidence in the case, but the presence of marijuana in DuBose's car
and on his person could be.
Tensing pleaded not guilty to murder and was released on $1 million
bond. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.
An independent report on the shooting released in September 2015
called it "entirely preventable."
The family reached a settlement of about $5 million with the
university earlier this year.
(Reporting by Ginny McCabe Additional reporting by Colleen Jenkins
in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by
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