No new trial in shooting
Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor Joe Deters leaves a news conference Tuesday in Cincinnati after announcing that he won’t seek a third murder trial for a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop two years ago. Deters said, though, that he is calling on federal authorities to consider possible civil-rights charges.
CINCINNATI — A white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist during a Cincinnati traffic stop won’t face a third murder trial, a prosecutor announced Tuesday, saying that he is asking federal authorities to consider possible civil-rights charges.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said he’s dropping the case against Ray Tensing, 27, on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the death of Sam DuBose, 43. Two previous juries couldn’t reach a unanimous agreement on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges against the former University of Cincinnati officer.
“I feel badly,” said Deters, who said he concluded he wouldn’t be able to get a jury to convict Tensing. “I’ve got to do what I think is right.”
Tensing shot DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015. The officer, since fired, testified that he feared he was going to be killed. Tensing, who testified in his own defense at both trials, said he feared he could be dragged or run over as DuBose tried to drive away.
DuBose’s family and civil-rights groups wanted a third trial. DuBose’s family earlier called for a federal investigation and wasn’t satisfied by Deters’ announcement the case will be reviewed.
“They should have done both [third trial and review],” said DuBose’s sister, Terina Allen. She said DuBose was “no threat” to Tensing. She pledged to hound Tensing “the rest of his life.”
The university fired Tensing after he was indicted. It reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose’s family.
State police of Pennsylvania salute Tuesday during the arrival of Trooper Michael Stewart’s coffin at the Holy Family Church in Latrobe, Pa. Stewart was killed when his cruiser collided with a garbage truck last week.