Former Officer Ray Tensing on Trial For Killing Sam DuBose

samuel-dubose-large-169

Sam DuBose

On July 19 2015, Sam DuBose was shot and killed by now former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing.  Hamilton County prosecutors say that DuBose’s death was unwarranted and it was murder.  Sam did not have a weapon or appear to be reaching for a weapon.

Tensing’s defense is that DuBose dragged him with the car.

Prosecutors say that Tensing’s bodycam shows that he was not dragged.  A grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. Tensing was terminated from the police department.

The murder charge carries the possibility of life in prison. The voluntary manslaughter charge carries the possibility of 3 to 11 years in prison.

Tensing’s Background

ray-tensing

Ray Tensing

Raymond Tensing (born November 13, 1989),was 25 years old at the time of the shooting.  He joined the University of Cincinnati Police Department (UCPD) in April 2014, and was previously an officer with the department of Greenhills, Ohio.  Tensing had left the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s training academy after attending for one day.  The New York Times reports that according to a highway patrol spokesman, Tensing was unable to adapt to the physical and mental requirements.

 

Civil Suit

In January 2016, the University of Cincinnati settled a lawsuit with the family of Samuel DuBose.  The settlement was $5.3 million and allows for DuBose’s children to have free tuition to the college.  DuBose’s family was represented by Mark O’Mara, the attorney who defended George Zimmerman against 2nd degree murder charges for the killing of unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin.

Selected Jury

On Monday, a jury was selected.  The jury consists of two Black women, four White women and six White men. All alternates are white.

Today, both sides presented opening arguments.  Jurors visited the scene of the deadly shooting.

Live stream

Court Chatter and Wild About Trial are live streaming the trial.  The best live stream I’ve found is WCPO.

We’ll keep daily updates in the comment section below.

Tensing’s bodycam video

Prosecutor Joe Deter’s opening statement

 

 

Defense Attorney Stew Mathews’ opening statement

Posted on 11/01/2016, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Trial Videos, Trials and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 89 Comments.

  1. Liked by 1 person

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Summary of opening statements by WLWT reporter Nikki Ferrell and investigative reporter Todd Dykes (excerpt from article linked below) :

    THE PROSECUTION

    Deters said Tensing told investigators that he intentionally shot and killed DuBose.

    Though it was lawful for Tensing to ask Dubose to step out of the car when he did not produce a driver’s license, Deters said, “What Tensing did next was not legitimate. It was murder. It was totally contrary to training he had received. .. It was totally contrary to the laws in this country concerning a justified shooting.”

    Tensing grabbed DuBose’s seat belt with one hand and drew and fired his gun with the other, Deters said. The prosecutor told the jury that DuBose’s foot was moving to the accelerator but not pushing on it yet, and the acceleration was likely a reflex that occurred when the driver was already dead.

    Deters pointed out that DuBose did not have a gun or indicate that he did.

    “The evidence will show that this case is amazingly simple in terms of proving intent,” Deters said. “The reason that it is simple here is because you will hear from Tensing’s own mouth that he intentionally shot Mr. DuBose in the head.”

    TENSING’S DEFENSE

    Matthews will argue in the trial that Tensing feared for his life when he shot DuBose.

    He told the jury Tuesday that DuBose put his hand on Tensing’s forearm, and then tried to drive away, calling his actions assault.

    He acknowledged Tensing made a “tactical error” when he reached into the car to to try to stop DuBose from leaving the traffic stop.

    But when he shows the jury the slowed-down body cam video, he said, “You’ll be able to see DuBose take his left hand, put it over Tensing’s left forearm and pin his forearm to the windowsill.” When Tensing grabbed the seat belt, it was to try to keep from falling as DuBose accelerated, Matthews said.

    “I will not concede that he didn’t have a weapon. He had a 3,000-pound car that he turned into a weapon and was attempting actively – he went from what I would call passive noncompliance by a slow stop to active resistance when he put his arm over Tensing’s arm to actually assaulting the officer when he mashed that accelerator and turned that car to the left and took off.”

    http://www.wlwt.com/article/ray-tensing-jurors-to-visit-scene-of-shooting/8063327

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Judge Megan Shanahan ruled that Sam DuBose’s medical and criminal history will not be allowed in Ray Tensing’s murder trial. However, the marijuana found in DuBose’s car at the time of his death can be used in court.

    “There is no scientific ability to determine when Samuel DuBose last ingested marijuana, and it would be inappropriate to allow that evidence,” Shanahan said. “It’s a leap to say that his medical condition affected his behavior at the scene when he was stopped by the defendant.”

    Regarding DuBose’s criminal record, Shanahan said “the rules are clear when prior records come in. Even with an extensive record, it’s clear that the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice and, frankly, has no place in this trial.”

    http://www.wcpo.com/news/crime/ray-tensings-attorneys-file-motion-to-use-sam-duboses-criminal-background-as-evidence

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Dear Xena,

    It looks like another police officer who committed cold blooded murder will be doing jail time .I hate it when a victim who cannot defend themselves because they are deceased, are also put on trial.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gronda,
      I truly hope that Tensing is found guilty, whether it’s murder or manslaughter.

      I agree — victims should not be placed on trial. It’s at a point now that if a person was arrested for jaywalking 20 years ago, defense attorneys want to use that against the deceased victim.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Me too, as if anything that happened in his past made Tensing kill him. I hope he is found guilty and serves ‘real’ time but with 6 white men on the jury I don’t see that happening. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  5. chuquestaquenumber1

    This week is also the trial of ex cop Walter Slager for the killing of Walter Scott.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Chuquest! Thanks for the comment. It looks like a jury might be sworn in tomorrow. If that happens and they move on to opening statements, I’ll post a separate thread so we can follow that trial also.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. For those watching live, Court Chatter and Wild About Trial does not seem to be airing it. I found it live streamed at
    http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/follow-live-witnesses-taking-stand-in-day-2-of-ray-tensing-trial

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Trial: Morning of November 2, 2016. Part 1. The jury sees the body cam video.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. November 2, 2016 Part 2

    Liked by 2 people

  9. November 2, 2016, Part 3

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mathews is a defense attorney. He did not want the jury to see DuBose’s autopsy photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Liked by 2 people

    • Oh wow

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mindyme!
        Indeed. That has been a problem when Black people are killed by law enforcement. Some folks seem to think they deserve death for disobeying or not immediately following the commands law enforcement. They even think it appropriate in states that do not have the death penalty for murder.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It’s really scary to me when people want our LEO to have that kind of power

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mindyme,
            That is true. It is scary. What is even more scary are people who want that type of power and use police officers as their proxies. Remember the guy who called in the false report on John Crawford? There are others also who called in false reports resulting in innocent, unarmed people being killed by law enforcement who proceeded based on those false reports.

            Liked by 2 people

            • We want our LEO to follow the same laws they are sworn to uphold. When a human life is taken, accidently or otherwise, LE should face the same consequences as we would. No ‘oopsie’s’ allowed.

              Liked by 1 person

  12. November 3, 2016, Part 1. Tensing’s police interview

    Liked by 3 people

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Here is the transcript of the above interview video of Ofc. Tensing:

      https://htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/files/tensing-interview-7-21-2015-1478195026.pdf

      Liked by 2 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Excerpt from transcript of Ofc. Tensing’s interview statement:

        “He was failing to display his Driver’s License to me. Um, I advised him that I was gonna detain him and I proceeded to um, open the car door. As I opened the car door, um, I advised him to um, to remove his seatbelt. He immediately with his left hand pulled the car door shut and did not take off his seatbelt. And immediately after that, he reached up and turned the key, which was in the ignition at this point, he turned the key back on. At this point, I was so close to Mr. Dubose, so close to his vehicle, um, I thought I had a good chance of reaching in and turning the key off before he could go anywhere. Um, I really thought I could that before he took off. So as I reached in to knock the key out and turn the key off, um, he put it in drive. It was a uh, center console shift. He put the vehicle in drive and he just mashed the accelerator as he pulled out. And my hand and my left arm, it, it somehow got caught or tangled up in the steering wheel as he’s accelerating. Um, at this point I lost my balance and I fell against his car on the left side of my body. Um, was hanging on to the side of his car and I was kinda facing backwards. My body was facing his trunk. As he continued to accelerate, um, my, my arm was still stuck at this point, um, I could not free it. Um, at that point, I was think oh my gosh, I’m getting dragged by this guy’s car, I don’t wanna die today. I’m in fear of my life. Um, at some point, my hand is still stuck as I’m drawing my weapon out. Thinking this guy’s actively trying to kill me right now. I don’t want to die today on this street. I don’t want to get run over by his vehicle. So I pull my gun out, and as I’m falling, I’m, I’m kinda below the plane of his, his window. So the only shot I could see that I could take to stop the threat, was a head shot. That’s the only part of his body I could really see at that point

        page 5

        “and had a, a clear visual of. And I was telling him, I told him I believe twice, to stop the vehicle. Stop. Stop. I just wanted him to stop the car. That was my goal. He still just continued to accelerate and that’s when I discharged one round. And I hit him in the head with that round. Um, again, I did that because I was in fear of my life. I was holding on for dear life. I did not want to get sucked underneath his car and run over by the tires. Um, it’s difficult to explain.”

        Liked by 1 person

  13. November 3, 2016, Part 2

    Liked by 1 person

  14. November 3, 2016. Day 3, Part 3

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Liked by 1 person

  16. For the most part, Tensing appeared calm and casual – and rehearsed – in the video, sitting in the small police interview room (just like the ones on TV) with two investigators questioning him across a table and an FOP attorney sitting silently nearby. Tensing repeated his claim that DuBose was dragging him and speeding away.

    “I was thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m getting dragged by this guy’s car. I don’t wanna die today.’ I’m in fear of my life,” Tensing said.

    A short time later, the jury saw a totally different version of what happened.

    Taking key moments in Tensing’s video frame-by-frame, Grant Fredericks, a forensic video analyst from Washington, appeared to disprove almost every claim made by Tensing and his counsel regarding what happened in the seconds before, during and after the shooting.

    http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/ray-tensing-trial-sam-dubose-case-did-prosecutors-just-destroy-tensings-defense

    Liked by 1 person

  17. yahtzeebutterfly

    Starting at timestamp 4:57 —

    GRANT FREDERICKS: (Video expert) : So the perspective of the camera is here.

    PROSECUTOR: Here.

    FREDERICKS: Correct. So, the perspective of the camera is here. The camera can’t see that area unless the camera is located just about at the center of the window. That’s the only reason we have this perspective. And, because it’s located on his [Tensing’s] chest, that, at the time of the shooting, the camera is located above the center of the window, obviously the officer’s eyes would have been a foot and a half higher than that.

    PROSECUTOR: Are you, you also reviewed the statement of Ofc. Tensing?

    FREDERICKS: Yes.

    PROSECUTOR: And, I know, at one point, on page 27, line 4, he said the following: “I pulled my gun out, and as I’m falling, I’m kinda, believe, I’m below the plane of his window, so the only shot I could see to stop the threat was a headshot.”

    Based on your analysis of this and the (?way?) the camera was, is there any way Ofc. Tensing’s body camera could have captured that image if he was, as he said he was in the statement, below the plane of the window.

    DEFENSE objects.
    JUDGE overrules.

    FREDERICKS: No, there’s no possibility that his head could be beneath the camera. If the camera, if his head were at the level of the window, then the camera facing very close to the door of the care. And, we would just have a dark, dark door.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I want to give a special shout-out of thanks to Lady Justice for the trial videos.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. November 4, 2016, Part 1

    Liked by 1 person

  20. November 4, 2016, Part 2

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jury Boycott

    Today, the judge in the Tensing trial agreed to release juror questionnaires to the media with the names redacted.

    Jurors refused to enter the courtroom. I am waiting on a printed report to report the result.

    Like

  22. Like

  23. The jury questionnaire has been added to the right-side border for further reference. You can see it now at this link.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. yahtzeebutterfly

    Excerpt from ABC’s article titled “OFFICER ALLEGEDLY WORE CONFEDERATE FLAG T-SHIRT ON DAY OF FATAL SHOOTING”:

    “Friday, November 04, 2016 02:30PM
    “CINCINNATI, Ohio — Evidence shows a former police officer on trial for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man was wearing a confederate flag shirt under his uniform.

    “A photo of the black T-shirt with the flag and the words “Great Smoky Mountains” was presented during a crime scene technician’s testimony Friday at the trial of since-fired Officer Ray Tensing.”

    On another unrelated topic:
    I was looking for articles and pictures of the Great Smoky Mountains and came across an interesting Southern Poverty Law Center December 3, 2014 article titled ” ‘KLANBLY FRIENDLY’ TENNESSEE: STATE BECOMES HATE TOURIST MECCA” at this link:
    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2014/12/03/klanbly-friendly-tennessee-state-becomes-hate-tourist-mecca
    Excerpt:

    In early November, around a hundred leaders and supporters of one of the largest Ku Klux Klan groups in the United States held a secretive “summit” in what is called “all White east Tennessee.”

    …Among the more notable observations by attendees at the secretive gathering, called the “Smoky Mountain Summit,” was the declining health of Stephen Don Black, the aging former Klansman and founder of Stormfront, the largest and most lucrative hate site in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. yahtzeebutterfly

    Like

  26. The gag order is reported in the following video, and the evidence of the t-shirt he wore under his uniform.

    Like

    • This is just unreal. And blows every argument that (some) cops aren’t racist.

      Liked by 1 person

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      “Trial revelation: Tensing wore Confederate flag shirt under uniform”
      http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/tensing/2016/11/04/what-expect-friday-tensing-murder-trial/93257366/

      Except:

      “Members of DuBose’s family were surprised, as were others in the courtroom.

      “It says a lot about the nature of his intent, and the person he is,” said DuBose’s fiancee, DaShonda Reid.

      State Sen. Cecil Thomas, who was in the courtroom Friday, said “it speaks to Tensing’s mindset.”

      “The flag is contrary to everything the African-American community represents,” said Thomas, a former Cincinnati police officer. “Every officer is representing the community… He had to wake up, make the conscious decision to put it on as part of his uniform. He had to recognize in his own mind what he was wearing.”

      …Rob Richardson Jr., chairman of UC’s board of trustees, issued the following statement late Friday: “UC does not condone this in any way. It is not representative of the great men and women who serve us on our police force and represent this great university.”

      Liked by 1 person

  27. yahtzeebutterfly

    Liked by 1 person

  28. yahtzeebutterfly

    Liked by 1 person

  29. November 7, 2016, Part 1

    Like

  30. November 7, 2016, Part 2

    Like

  31. November 7, 2016, Part 3

    Autopsy is explained.

    Like

  32. Tensing is looking away from the autopsy photos. He sees what killing someone looks like.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. November 8, 2016, Part 1

    Like

  34. I need to go back and see when the defense began putting on its case. Ray Tensing testifies in the following video.

    November 8, 2016,Part 2

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Liked by 2 people

  36. Closing arguments are on schedule for tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. November 8, 2016, Part 3

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I’m confused. Why is he crying now which is four months after he shot Sam (above testimony video timestamp 11:00 to 17:00) but not during his initial police interview when he recounted what happened?

      See initial police interview below starting at timestamp 24:00 —-

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yahtzee,
        Tensing didn’t cry during his police interview, probably because he felt his story was good enough to be believed. He cried on the witness stand today, for himself. He cried for himself because he is on trial.

        Liked by 3 people

  38. Cross-examination starts around 26:40 of Part 3. You don’t want to miss it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Just watched the cross-examination by the prosector. Whew! He didn’t give Ofc. Tensing any wiggle room as he showed Tensing the screenshots that are factual. I’m think that the jury would have become tired of hearing Tensing keep saying the words “my perception.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tensing is taking the position of using discretion based on his perception. That works when LE says they “thought” the suspect was going for a gun.

        Even perception is based on facts. A person/suspect would need to move their hands in a manner, and to such a place, where a gun can be hidden. A person doesn’t “perceive” they are being dragged by a vehicle when testifying that their upper body was not on the ground.

        Liked by 3 people

  39. yahtzeebutterfly

    The jury has received its instructions and will now be sequestered as they deliberate.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. November 9, 2016. Closing arguments. Part 1. The State argues first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Am about to watch the last video. Tensing lied, he is a liar. But I don’t think you will find 6 white men who will find him guilty. They will see the life of a living white law enforcement officer of having more value than that of a slain man of color.

      To indict and bring to trial these officers isn’t enough when they kill unarmed citizens and lie about it. There has to be convictions or the entire process becomes a joke.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s a rumor there’s a holdout. I hope you’re wrong tho. This was a perfect prosecution from what i see. If they let him go, there’s no hope.
        Tensing is a bold faced liar. And Sam saw that gun in his face & heard that shot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The jury cannot decide on the charge of murder nor the charge of manslaughter. The judge sent the jury back to further deliberate. It pretty much depends on how many jurors have decided on a guilty verdict, and how many have decided on acquittal.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Trauma! I really hope they do the right thing.
            your message was 2hrs ago, i hope i see some good news below!!!1

            Like

            • The jury cannot decide on the charge of murder nor the charge of manslaughter. The judge sent the jury back to further deliberate. It pretty much depends on how many jurors have decided on a guilty verdict, and how many have decided on acquittal.

              Like

            • Shannon,
              I have Courtchatter up watching it live, but need to take a dinner break. If there’s no verdict by 7 p.m., the judge might have the jury return on Monday.

              Liked by 1 person

  41. November 9, 2016, Closing arguments Part 2

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I’ll be on pins and needles til the jury returns with a verdict

    Like

  43. The story reports he was at the bar with Amanda Horne. His attorney in the Epperson case

    Like

    • Mindyme,
      Thanks for the link. This week with 2 trials and the election has tired me out, but I think I have about 10 minutes of energy to open a blog post about the coward who killed Trayvon. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  44. Like

  45. yahtzeebutterfly

    Live stream here:

    http://www.fox19.com/story/33456144/trial-of-ray-tensing-live-blog-stream

    Liked by 1 person

  46. yahtzeebutterfly

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Judge asks jury to return to jury room to deliberate further.

    Like

  48. The jury had a question regarding the definition of “arrest.” Judge Shanahan told the jury that they had all the information and instructions needed.

    So, it seems that someone on the jury is trying to put Sam Dubose on trial. The only thing that matters, in my opinion, is whether Tensing shot Sam in self-defense. From the video and trial testimony, it is obvious that Sam posed no threat to Tensing when Tensing shot him.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. yahtzeebutterfly

    Judge declared mistrial…jury was deadlocked.

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Former Officer Ray Tensing on Trial For Killing Sam DuBose | #BlackLivesMatter Memphis

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