Police Officer Ray Tensing’s Murder Trial Just Ended In A Mistrial — Again

Tensing shot Sam DuBose at point-black range. The video wasn’t enough to convict him.

A judge declared a mis­tri­al Friday after an Ohio jury failed to reach a unan­i­mous ver­dict in the tri­al of a police offi­cer who shot and killed a man dur­ing a July 2015 traf­fic stop. University of Cincinnati offi­cer Ray Tensing, who is white, had been charged with mur­der in the death of 43-year-old Sam DuBose, who was black. The tri­al was the sec­ond for Tensing for the same inci­dent — his first tri­al also result­ed in a dead­locked jury and mis­tri­al last November.

DuBose’s shoot­ing made nation­al head­lines in 2015 after video of the inci­dent record­ed by Tensing’s body cam­era showed the offi­cer shoot­ing DuBose point-blank in the head. Tensing, who was patrolling off cam­pus, had pulled over DuBose because he was dri­ving with­out a front license plate. After an exchange about DuBose’s license and reg­is­tra­tion, the video appears to show DuBose start his car. Tensing tes­ti­fied that he shot DuBose after DuBose attempt­ed to dri­ve off. Tensing said that he thought he was going to be dragged under­neath the car because his arm was pinned in DuBose’s pas­sen­ger-side car win­dow. But a foren­sic video expert tes­ti­fied for the pros­e­cu­tion that the video showed that Tensing’s arm was not pinned and that Tensing pulled his gun and aimed it at DuBose before the car began mov­ing for­ward. The pros­e­cu­tion and defense made large­ly the same argu­ments and called many of the same wit­ness­es in both tri­als.

DuBose’s shoot­ing fol­lowed a traf­fic encounter between a police offi­cer and 28-year-old Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, which had tak­en place rough­ly a week ear­li­er. Video of that inci­dent also went viral — and protests fol­lowed after it was report­ed that Bland had been found dead in her jail cell sev­er­al days lat­er; her death was ruled a sui­cide.

The Tensing ver­dict also comes amid a string of police-relat­ed news over the past week. Last Friday, a jury found a Minnesota police offi­cer, Jeronimo Yanez, not guilty of sec­ond-degree manslaugh­ter in the shoot­ing death of Philando Castile dur­ing a traf­fic stop last July. On Wednesday, a jury in Milwaukee found anoth­er offi­cer, Dominique Heaggan-Brown, not guilty of reck­less homi­cide and oth­er charges in the shoot­ing death of Sylville Smith last August.

In a state­ment Friday, DuBose’s moth­er, Audrey DuBose, said that her fam­i­ly was “out­raged that a sec­ond jury has now failed to con­vict Ray Tensing” and called for peace­ful protests and anoth­er retri­al. She also said that the fam­i­ly stands in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the fam­i­lies of Castile, Smith, and oth­ers who were killed by police. http://​www​.moth​er​jones​.com/​c​r​i​m​e​-​j​u​s​t​i​c​e​/​2​0​1​7​/​0​6​/​o​f​f​i​c​e​r​-​r​a​y​-​t​e​n​s​i​n​g​-​v​e​r​d​i​c​t​-​s​a​m​-​d​u​b​o​se/