U.S. officer who shot driver in traffic stop faces murder charge

A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the officer “purposely killed him.”

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the officer “purposely killed him.”

Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

DuBose’s death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. DuBose was black. Tensing is white. Authorities haven’t indicated whether race was a part of the investigation.

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front license plate, which is required by Ohio law. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver’s license and get out of the car.

Tensing has said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot at DuBose. He fired one shot, striking DuBose in the head.

But Deters dismissed Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by the car and suggested that he shouldn’t have pulled DuBose over to begin with.

“He fell backward after he shot (DuBose) in the head,” Deters said.

A warrant was issued for Tensing’s arrest. Deters said Tensing could either turn himself in or officers could arrest him.

Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, didn’t immediately return phone messages seeking comment after Deters’ announcement.

Mathews said earlier Wednesday that he thought an indictment was likely “given the political climate” and comments made by city officials. But Mathews said given the evidence he’s seen, he doesn’t believe there should be an indictment.

Body-camera video of the shooting was also released Wednesday. DuBose’s family had been pressing for its release, and news organizations including The Associated Press had sued Deters to get it released under Ohio open records law, but Deters released it before any ruling had been made.

Deters called the shooting “senseless” and “asinine.”

“He purposely killed him,” Deters said. “He should never have been a police officer.”

The prosecutor also said he thought it was time to reconsider the UC police department’s role.

“I don’t think a university should be in the policing business,” Deters said.

A message for comment was left Wednesday with the police department. The university said earlier this week it plans an independent review of its police department’s policies.

The University of Cincinnati on Wednesday closed its main campus in anticipation of grand jury action in the case.

If convicted, Tensing could face up to life in prison.

Just Posted

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Charges filed after mummy of spiritual leader found in home

Charges filed after mummy of spiritual leader found in home

Jewish nationalist demonstrators look at a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward central Israel, in the Israeli town of Ramla, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The protesters had gathered in an attempted show of strength in a predominantly Arab neighborhood. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)
Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

In this April 20, 2021, photo, House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters following a GOP meeting at the Capitol in Washington. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has set a Wednesday vote for removing Cheney from her No. 3 Republican leadership post after Cheney repeatedly challenged former President Donald Trump over his claims of widespread voting fraud and his role in encouraging supporters' Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

A Colonial Pipeline station is seen, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Smyrna, Ga., near Atlanta. Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a cyberattack that it said had affected some of its systems. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Vaccines, oil prices and Husky takeover boost Cenovus outlook, says CEO Alex Pourbaix

Vaccines, oil prices and Husky takeover boost Cenovus outlook, says CEO Alex Pourbaix

This photo taken in October 2016 shows an aboveground section of Enbridge's Line 5 at the Mackinaw City, Mich., pump station. Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin have joined forces with their Canadian counterparts in the legal fight over the Line 5 pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/John Flesher
Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin urge court to keep Line 5 operating

Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin urge court to keep Line 5 operating

This June 2020 photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP
Quebec’s location and energy alternatives give it options if Line 5 closes: expert

Quebec’s location and energy alternatives give it options if Line 5 closes: expert

Tanker trucks are parked near the entrance of Colonial Pipeline Company Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Carlson
Cybersecurity experts say Canadian businesses can learn from U.S. pipeline attack

Cybersecurity experts say Canadian businesses can learn from U.S. pipeline attack

Most Read