Mistrial declared in murder case against Ray Tensing

Within the past week, Tensing has become the third police officer avoiding criminal charges after fatally shooting a black man.

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An Ohio judge declared a second mistrial on Friday in the case against former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop in July 2015. Recorded on police body cam video shooting DuBose in the head, Tensing claimed that he feared for his life because he was being dragged under DuBose’s vehicle, despite the fact that the footage does not appear to show him being dragged.

According to Tensing’s body camera footage on July 19, 2015, the officer pulled over DuBose a few blocks from the campus for driving without a front license plate. After admitting that he did not have his driver’s license, DuBose turned the key in the ignition and revved the engine as Tensing pulled his service weapon out of his holster.

While ordering DuBose to stop, Tensing fired a single round from his Sig Sauer P320 shooting DuBose in the head at pointblank range. As Tensing fell backwards, DuBose’s car began to roll forward approximately 100 yards before pulling onto a curb and stopping.

According to the police report, the Cincinnati Fire Department arrived and pronounced DuBose dead at the crash scene. Officer Phillip Kidd, who witnessed the incident, backed up Tensing’s version of events and told his fellow officers that he saw Tensing being dragged by DuBose’s car shortly before the shooting.

After the incident, Tensing was fired from the department and indicted on murder charges. In January 2016, the city of Cincinnati agreed to pay $4.85 million to DuBose’s family.

After a first mistrial, Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz declared a second mistrial on Friday in the murder and voluntary manslaughter case against Tensing. Deliberating for five days, the jury informed the judge that they were almost evenly deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Within the past week, Tensing has become the third police officer avoiding criminal charges after fatally shooting a black man. On June 16, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted after fatally shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop. On Wednesday, Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown was acquitted after fatally shooting 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who had thrown his gun away when the officer killed him.

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