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CINCINNATI (AP) — A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge, with a prosecutor saying the officer “purposely killed him” and “should never have been a police officer.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front license plate, which is required by Ohio law. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver’s license and get out of the car.

Tensing, 25, has said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot at DuBose. He fired once, striking DuBose in the head.

But Deters dismissed Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by the car and suggested that he shouldn’t have pulled DuBose over to begin with.

“He fell backward after he shot (DuBose) in the head,” Deters said, adding that it was a “chicken crap” traffic stop.

On footage released from the body-camera video Wednesday, the officer could be heard asking for DuBose’s driver’s license several times with DuBose at one point saying he had one. Later, DuBose said, “But I don’t think I have it on me.”

Tensing asks DuBose to unbuckle his seat belt. About that time Tensing pulls on the door handle, and DuBose puts his hand on the door to keep it closed. Then the video becomes shaky, but a gunshot can be heard and DuBose appears to be slumped in the seat before the car rolls away, coming to stop at a nearby corner.

The University of Cincinnati said it fired Tensing after his indictment. Tensing turned himself in Wednesday afternoon at the Hamilton County Justice Center and was processed on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, didn’t return phone messages seeking comment after the indictment announcement.

Mathews said earlier Wednesday that he thought an indictment was likely “given the political climate” and comments made by city officials. But Mathews said given the evidence he’s seen, he doesn’t believe there should be an indictment.

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 haven’t indicated whether race was a part of the investigation.

Body-camera video of the shooting was also released Wednesday. DuBose’s family had been pressing for its release, and news organizations including The Associated Press had sued Deters to get it released under Ohio open records law, but Deters released it before any ruling had been made.

Deters called the shooting “senseless” and “asinine.”

“He purposely killed him,” Deters said. “He should never have been a police officer.”

The prosecutor also said he thought it was time to reconsider the UC police department’s role.

“I don’t think a university should be in the policing business,” Deters said.

A message for comment was left Wednesday with the police department. The university said earlier this week it plans an independent review of its police department’s policies.

The UC officer made the traffic stop near the university’s main campus, and UC police have said the intersection was within the campus police’s jurisdiction.

The University of Cincinnati on Wednesday closed its main campus in anticipation of grand jury action in the case.

Mark O’Mara, attorney for DuBose’s family, called for a “peaceful and nonaggressive” response from the community after the officer’s indictment. O’Mara said the family wanted a peaceful reaction because “Sam was a peaceful person.”

Tensing has more than five years of experience in law enforcement and has worked as a University of Cincinnati police officer since April 2014, said Jason Goodrich, UC police chief. His annual performance review this April noted that he was extremely strong in the traffic area and maintains control of his weapons and of “situations he is involved in.”

Tensing formerly worked as an officer in the small Cincinnati suburban village of Greenhills.

Deters said when he saw the video of the shooting, he was shocked.

“I feel so sorry for this family and what they lost,” Deters said. “And I feel sorry for the community, too.”

If convicted, Tensing could face up to life in prison.


Associated Press writers Dan Sewell in Cincinnati and Kantele Franko and Mitch Stacy in Columbus contributed to this report.

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24 thoughts on “Ohio Police Officer Indicted In Traffic Stop Murder: ‘He Purposely Killed Him’ [WATCH]

  1. NO hair hats !!!!! on said:

    Two wrongs do not make a right. Driver should have complied/submitted to orders by showing license or etc. And cop should not have shot the man. It’s not that they can’t make an arrest later due to driver not following orders. Didn’t have to kill the man and driver should not have rebelled .

    • How in the hell can you be more complient than he was. He told the officer he did not have his Drivers License on him. What is the next step. Being a University police Officer he should have then called the local police dept. What wrong did the driver do. Think before you speak

  2. I’ve heard that there are gang and clicks within the Police Force and Don’t get it wrong .. technology ;has brought what we have always said was going on to the forefront …Makes you wonder it what they are labeling Black on Black crime is really Cops on Black Crime .. Videos from Cameras have been very helpful in seeing the truth .. But they are less than ..2% of being introduce in criminal cases .. What should bother us is not what we do see but what we don’t see … Cause there is more shit like this that we don’t get to see than we will ever see ….

  3. BLACK PEOPLE; GOD says we matter!! He will repay them for all the MURDERS of our Brothers and Sisters. Stay vigilant and strong cause we are in a war for our very lives… Bless the family & may he rest in peace.

  4. sandy on said:

    He repeatedly says he was dragged by the car. 1st of all he should have never stuck his hand inside his door to attempt to open it. At the end of the day, that UC officer was wrong, he knew he was wrong and there was no need to pull his weapon behind a freaking license plate. I wonder how he’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot. What he did to Mr. Dubose was senseless and stupid. That UC officer should get life in prison so he will have the rest of his life to think about the life he took from Mr. Dubose and his family and friends.

  5. These white officer have so much hate ingrained in them, they just can’t help themselves. They know the cameras are rolling, yet they continued to killed/harm black people and figure they can get away with it. All they have to do is mouth the favorite line; I feared for my life!

  6. Mr. Samuel DuBose should have NEVER had a gun pulled on him. That cop murdered him in cold blood. How many black men have to get killed by police officers before we as a people unite and stop taking this!

  7. knowledge on said:

    It’s been installed in black slaves from the beginning that white ppl don’t lie, even with a camera attached to his chest he still lied. I hope my ppl are taking note and and start thinking about what else hv these ppl been lying to us about. I just wish Darren Wilson had a body camera on him.

  8. It is a terrible thing all around when a seemingly innocuous vehicle equipment stop turns deadly, and cops don’t always emerge the victors either (the two cops in Mississippi killed by the black brothers) you never know what or who you will find as a result of that encounter. Remember Timothy McVeigh was caught when OHP stopped him for no license plate.

  9. LisaC on said:

    Yet you still have people that believe everything the cops say. Also the other cops that lied should be indicted for something. Now let’s see if he gets convicted.

  10. specialt757 on said:

    It still amazes me how black Americans are being killed during routine, non-violent traffic stops. It wasn’t necessary at all for this cop to pull his gun, as the prosecuted stated, he wasn’t being pulled over on suspicion of murder, just a missing license plate.
    What’s even sadder, none of this is new, we just have better and newer technologies that are bringing it to the public’s attention. Blacks have known this for years (even wrote songs about it) now whites are finally paying attention. It can no longer be ignored.

  11. specialt757 on said:

    “…this looks like an over charge (murder)” I’m not really sure what you are implying here. This was murder and the “charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.” and no less are the correct charges, no over charge here. The best thing is for him to take a plea and save tax payer dollars but that won’t happen either I’m pretty sure of that.

  12. Linda on said:

    This was COLD BLOODED MURDER!!!!

    The video clearly shows this POS PIG reaching into Mr. Dubose’s car and attempting to open his car door. Mr. Dubose reaches over to secure the door. At that point, the PIG assumes his stance and
    shoots this man in the head.

    It is time that the use of video cams for law enforcement be MANDATORY whether their police unions
    agree with this or NOT!!!!!!

    Video tape does not LIE if it is not EDITED!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I always say: “When you keep doing the same thing over and over, you will get caught!” This is the second unjust police shooting caught on video. The first one was with the Victim Walter Scott.

    “All” Black people need to install dashcams in n their vehicles, their home, and wear a body camera. Enough is enough!

  14. This has been going on for years. Fortunately, with the advent of body cams at least some light will be shed on these stops.

  15. Monica on said:

    Why does the cop keep saying he was dragged by the car…doesn’t he know there is video footage attached to his own body? He keeps talking in the video trying to justify that bullshit shooting.

  16. reflections on said:

    Remember this is just the start. The police unions are plotting how to discredit the victim and the police will now begin a work stoppage. The police will begin to amp up fear. It is important for the police to keep fear alive. Even with video over 657 americans have been killed by the police this year.

  17. Shaun on said:

    I do not believe this will make it to trial. I wouldn’t be surprised if a plea deal is in the works… I believe this for I am from Cincinnati

    • jhuf on said:

      That’s possible like in Baltimore this looks like an over charge (murder) maybe to garner a plea deal from the officer

  18. knowledge on said:

    Just imagine all of the other similar incidents like this one where there was no body camera to record the crime.

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