Saturday, 19 January, 2019

OH judge declares mistrial for officer who shot Samuel DuBose

Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, listens during the fifth day of Tensing's retrial in Cincin Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, listens during the fifth day of Tensing's retrial in Cincin
Alfredo Watts | 29 June, 2017, 09:07

Tensing stopped the vehicle DuBose was driving on an off-campus street July 19, 2015, after spotting it without a front license plate and determining the back plate was registered to a female driver whose license was suspended.

For the third time in a week, the trial of a police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man has ended without a conviction, the latest setback for prosecutors and activists seeking greater accountability for the use of deadly force by the police.

The mistrial, which came after five days of jury deliberations, left Tensing in tears and for now ended almost two years of anticipation in the case.

The officer asks for Mr DuBose's driver's licence, but he says he does not have it. While many other recordings that spread widely on social media were captured by bystanders or police dash-board cameras, some of them recorded from a distance, the Tensing case was unusual in that the footage effectively showed the officer's perspective.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against a former OH police officer accused of voluntary manslaughter. The officer then ordered him to step out of his auto and tried to open the door, but DuBose refused.

Tensing asks DuBose to unbuckle his seat belt, and the officer pulls on the door handle.

According to The Associated Press, Tensing and his defense attorney, Stewart Mathews, have argued that, at the traffic stop, DuBose stepped on the accelerator while Tensing's arm was trapped.

WEINGARTNER: There was certainly a lot of attention here in Cincinnati and we presume around the country as well, a lot of people, you know, wondering what might happen because, again, it was the second time and the same charges and no new evidence - all the same evidence as in the first trial.

On Wednesday, a jury in Wisconsin acquitted Dominique Heaggan-Brown, the former Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot Sylville Smith.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Friday, Judge Leslie Ghiz declared a second mistrial in the murder case after receiving a note from the jury.

"God's will is sufficient", Audrey DuBose, the victim's mother, said as she left the courthouse Friday. Tensing testified he feared he was going to be killed.

Tensing, who was white, was a University of Cincinnati campus officer back in 2015 when he shot and killed a black driver, Sam DuBose, during a traffic stop.

The Hamilton County jury had deliberated some 30 hours over five days after getting the case Monday.

Prosecutors haven't had much success convicting police officers in high-profile cases, even when the shooting is on video.

Tensing is the third officer in the past week to beat a case stemming from their on-duty shooting of a black man. The note said they didn't foresee reaching a unanimous verdict.

The Hamilton County jury announced that it couldn't reach a verdict Friday on the fifth day of deliberations.

Tensing has been out of prison on bond since July 2015. Majority-white juries have decided all but two of those 19 verdicts. Last Friday, jurors found a Minnesota police officer not guilty on charges related to the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile. Outrage over a frequent reluctance to prosecute and jurors' increasing failure to find officers guilty has sometimes boiled over, leading to protests. Tensing yelled "Stop! Stop!" before shooting DuBose in the head.

The jury in Tensing's first trial consisted of 10 whites and two blacks.