Mistrial Declared in Ray Tensing’s Fatal Shooting Case

The jury was reportedly deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of lesser charges.

Update: County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced he will again seek a murder conviction against Ray Tensing and wants to move the trial to find jurors who won’t face community pressures, reports the Associate Press.

“It’s my belief that Sam DuBose was murdered. Period,” Deters said.


A deadlocked jury ended the murder trial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing Nov. 12.

A judge declared the mistrial after the jury debated the case for approximately 25 hours. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said jurors were deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of a charge less severe than murder, according to the Associated Press.

The fate of Tensing, a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a traffic stop, is being watched closely by protesters and organizations that have argued the shooting was racially motivated. Some people say the shooting is indicative of police discrimination against black people in the country.

Around 1,000 people protested the announcement of the mistrial, something Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said was expected.

“Downtown is safe. The city is safe,” Mayor Cranley said Saturday. “We are going to get through this. People are going to be angry, and they have every right to express their First Amendment rights and they will do so peacefully.”

Campus Safety has previously reported on the shooting, which occurred July 19 when Tensing pulled over Sam DuBose, 43, for not having a front license plate. DuBose refused to give Tensing his driver’s license during the traffic stop and had an open bottle of alcohol in the car.

Tensing claimed that during the stop, DuBose began driving away and briefly dragged him, making him fear for his life. During the trial, prosecutors and defense lawyers hired experts that conducted analyses on the body cam footage that refuted and confirmed Tensing’s account respectively. Tensing fired one shot from his service weapon, which struck DuBose in the head.

During the independent investigation of the shooting, it was revealed that Tensing was the most aggressive officer on UC’s police force and disproportionally pulled black drivers over.

To convict Tensing of murder the jurors needed to find that he purposefully killed DuBose. To convict Tensing of voluntary murder jurors must find that Tensing killed DuBose during a sudden fit of rage. The murder charge could bring a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

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