Judge declares second mistrial in Tensing case
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 6:20
Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, listens to Assistant Prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid present closing arguments at his retrial at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincin.
Deters had assailed Tensing for what he called a "senseless, asinine shooting", which occurred not far from the University of Cincinnati campus where Tensing worked as an officer.
The jury, which is composed of nine white members and three black members, was reportedly about evenly split when Judge Leslie Ghiz declared the mistrial.
The first trial against the 27-year-old Tensing also ended in a mistrial after the jury deliberated 25 hours over four days in November without reaching a verdict. "If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very short period of time from when the auto starts rolling to when a gun is out and he's shot in the head", Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.
Tensing's is the third trial involving a fatal shooting following a traffic stop that concluded in the last week. Most recently, the officers who shot and killed Philando Castile and Sylville Smith were acquitted by juries who saw video of the fatal encounters.
Sam DuBose was shot during a 2015 traffic stop.
Prosecutors argued that the video only shows Dubose's auto moving for around a second before Tensing fired his gun.
Prosecutors broke down body camera video frame-by-frame to rebut Tensing's assertion that he was being dragged down the street.
Tensing asked DuBose for his driver's license and registration, which he failed to provide. The defense said that Tensing had thought he was in danger and acted out of instinct. Ghiz had rejected a prosecution request late in the trial to allow jurors to consider a lesser charge of reckless homicide, saying prosecutors could have done that after the first mistrial.
Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Seth Tieger told the jury that Tensing made a tactical error when he reached his left arm inside DuBose's auto and then escalated the problem by firing his weapon. DuBose's family has called for another retrial.
Donyetta Bailey, who is president of the Black Lawyer's Association of Cincinnati, said the Tensing case and others underline that juries are "implicitly biased" in favour of police officers.
About 100 people demonstrated peacefully and loudly while calling for justice for Sam DuBose and protesting the hung jury in the second Ray Tensing trial Friday. In May, Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man.
The university also reached a $5.3m (£4.1m) settlement with Mr DuBose's family, including free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children. DuBose, 43, was black and Tensing is white.
The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing in 2015 after his indictment.