Second Mistrial Declared in Ray Tensing Murder Case

The former police officer was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the death of unarmed motorist Sam DuBose.

Second Mistrial Declared in Ray Tensing Murder Case

Tensing looked down while the verdict was read and quickly left the courtroom without comment.

A second mistrial was declared on Friday in the murder case of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, reports the Associated Press.

Tensing fatally shot Sam DuBose, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015.

Tensing testified in his own defense during both trials, claiming he was forced to fire his weapon after being dragged by DuBose’s car as he attempted to speed away.

“I meant to stop the threat. I didn’t shoot to kill him. I didn’t shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions,” Tensing said during the second trial.

After body camera footage was reviewed prior to the first trial, it was determined that Tensing was justified in stopping the vehicle but not in using deadly force. Tensing fired his weapon once, shooting DuBose in the head.

Reports show Tensing made the most traffic stops and arrests in his department. He also gave out the most citations and had the highest racial disparity in traffic stops of all University of Cincinnati officers.

“Ray was an aggressive police officer as he was instructed to be because UC had a crime problem,” stated Stew Mathews, Tensing’s attorney.

The first mistrial was declared back in November after 25 hours of deliberation when the jury deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of a charge less severe than murder.

In order to be convicted of murder, all jurors had to be convinced that Tensing intentionally killed DuBose. If convicted, he would have faced 15 years to life in prison.

County Prosecutor Joe Deters pursued the second murder trial, requesting it be moved to a different location in order to maintain a jury that did not have community ties.

In the second trial, jurors deliberated for more than 30 hours over a span of five days. A note passed to Judge Leslie Ghiz stated the jury was split almost evenly and did not foresee reaching a unanimous verdict.

The NAACP reprimanded the jury’s inability to convict the officer.

“The message that is being sent is, if you are black, all the police officer has to do is say they were in fear of their life and they get away with murder because the victim is black,” read a statement released by the local chapter.

During the trial, the prosecution filed a motion to present a lesser charge of reckless homicide. Ghiz rejected the motion, stating that the prosecution had the opportunity to present the charge after the first mistrial. Deters will announce next week whether or not he will push for a third trial.

The DuBose family voiced their outrage, demanding another retrial. They had previously reached a settlement with the university for $4.85 million and free undergraduate tuition for DuBose’s 12 children.


About the Author


Amy Rock is Campus Safety's senior editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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