Jury Deadlocks for the Second Time Determining Guilt of Ray Tensing in Fatal Shooting of Sam DuBose

Earlier this afternoon, the second case of former University of Cincinnati (U.C.) police officer in the fatal shooting of unarmed driver Samuel DuBose in 2015 was declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked. The first trial of the case ended in a mistrial as well, and it is unclear whether Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters will call for a third retrial.

On July 19, 2015, then-U.C. Police Officer Raymond Tensing stopped DuBose because his front license plate was not displayed. Tensing next asked to see DuBose’s driver’s license, and when DuBose did not have it with him, he was asked to take off his seat belt.

According to footage taken from Tensing’s body camera, DuBose replied that he had not done anything wrong, and started his engine. Seconds later, the fatal shot was fired, hitting DuBose in the head.

As in the previous trial, the jury was nearly equally split and was unable to come to a decision after over 30 hours of debate. Tensing was being tried for both murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

According to the Washington Post, “DuBose was one of 991 people fatally shot by police officers in 2015, a number that was essentially unchanged last year. Police officers are rarely charged for fatal shootings or other uses of deadly force, and convictions are less common.”

DuBose’s family demands a third trial and calls on the community for peaceful protest. Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black echoed the sentiment for nonviolence in a series of tweets, announcing that “We recognize and appreciate [the feelings of the family and community] and will respect those wishing to exercise their right to peacefully protest.”

The Partnering Center, part of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League, will be hosting a session on July 6 to discuss the trial and how to move forward as a community. The Partnering Center invites elected and appointed state and local officials, police officers, clergy, media and community members to the meeting. For more information or to confirm attendance, contact Tye Cobb at the League at tcobb@gcul.org or at 513-487-6520.

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