CINCINNATI — A judge declared a mistrial in the case of an ex-cop who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist last year after the jury said it could not reach a verdict.
Ray Tensing, a 26-year-old University of Cincinnati police officer, was charged with murder in the shooting of Samuel DuBose, 43, during a traffic stop in July 2015.
The shooting, which was captured on video Tensing’s body camera came amid a spate of shootings by police of unarmed black men around the country, and triggered protests, with Mr. DuBose’s name being chanted at demonstrations across the country.
The officer said he felt that Mr. Dubose’s car was dragging him as it pulled away and that he only opened fire because he feared he would be run over.
Tensing pulled Mr. DuBose over because his vehicle, a 1998 Honda Accord was missing its front license plate. Footage from the camera showed Tensing ask DuBose for his license and DuBose admit he didn’t have it with him.
The cop then tried to reach into the car and open the door, but DuBose pulls it shut and then starts revving the engine. Tensing screamed “stop” twice and can be seen reaching into the car with one hand while drawing his weapon with his other and firing once.
DuBose was shot in the head. A father of 12, he had a previous conviction for selling marijuana, and investigators found several bags of weed and $2,500 in cash in the car.
Ten days later, Tensing was indicted and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters called the incident a “senseless, asinine shooting.” Tensing was fired and in January, the university agreed to pay $4.85 million to his family, and allow his children to attend for free.
Evidence presented at trial by expert witnesses, said there was no evidence Tensing was in danger of being dragged and that DuBose’s car had barely moved.
The jury, which had 10 white and two black members, told the judge on Friday that it was hopelessly deadlocked, but he ordered them to keep trying. On Saturday, he declared a mistrial.
The prosecutor’s office said it was debating whether to bring the case against Tensing again and would make a decision by Nov. 28.