A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted Wednesday for fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters said that the death of Samuel Dubose – who was stopped because of a missing license number plate – was “senseless” and “totally unwarranted.”
Officer Ray Tensing will be arraigned in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday at 10 a.m. EDT. If convicted, Tensing could be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, Deters said in a news conference.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted,” said Deters, as reported by CNN. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”
Body Video Camera Footage
According to a body camera video footage shown by Deters, Tensing stopped Dubose for a missing license plate. When Dubose could not present a driver’s license, he started preventing Dubose from opening the door of the car.
Subsequently, the car began rolling forward. Tensing yelled for Dubose to stop, following which he took out his gun and fired a shot that killed Dubose.
Deters said that, contrary to the officer’s claims, Tensing was not dragged by the car but fell backwards after shooting Dubose.
Tensing “wasn’t dealing with someone who was wanted for murder,” Deters said. “He was dealing with someone who didn’t have a front license plate. This is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken crap stop.”
The latest incident underlines the issue of use of force by police against minorities.
“[Tensing] purposely killed him,” Deters said. “He should never have been a police officer.”
“This is without question murder,” Deters added.
‘Thankful That Everything Was Uncovered’
According to Firstpost, Audrey Dubose, the victim’s mother, was glad with the decision. She further said that she could forgive Tensing.
“I’m so thankful that everything was uncovered,” she said. “I thought it was going to be covered up.”
She further said, “I want everybody to just lift up their heads in prayer, and thank God because this one did not go unsolved and hidden. We’re going to continue to fight together with God.”
Terina Allen, DuBose’s sister, emphasized her brother’s innocence in this matter.
“My brother is one year younger than me, and I’ve known him his whole life. And I’ve known him to never ever to run from a police officer. His record, as bad as anyone wants to make it, proves he has no problem being arrested,” she said.
On Wednesday, the University of Cincinnati campus was under lockdown and classes were suspended. A Black Lives Matter rally of 100 protestors took place in the afternoon.
According to USA Today, Tensing joined Greenhills police force on a part-time basis in April 2011. He became a full-time officer in March 2013.
In April 2014, he was taken onboard as a full-time officer at the University of Cincinnati; while he remained with the Greenhills police force as a part-time officer through December.
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