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The white campus cop accused of murdering an unarmed black man during a traffic stop has pleaded not guilty, claiming he 'feared for his life' and acted in self defense.
University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, 25, made his first appearance in front of a judge after he was indicted for killing Samuel DuBose, 43, near the campus on July 19.
He entered the courtroom handcuffed and wearing a striped prison uniform for the arraignment before pleading not guilty as his father, who was sitting in the gallery, watched.
However Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan decided he would be held in custody under a $1million bond as he is facing life in prison if convicted.
DuBose's supporters cheered and applauded in court after it was announced he would remain behind bars. It prompted the judge to chastise them, warning them they should conduct themselves properly in a courtroom.
On Wednesday Tensing was indicted on murder charges after horrifying body camera footage emerged of him shooting DuBose, a father of 13, in the head after stopping him for not having a front licence plate.
Wearing a striped prison uniform and handcuffs he pleaded not guilty, but was held in custody under a $1million bond as he is facing life in prison if convicted
Terina Allen, DuBose;s sister, sits with family members as she reacts in the courtroom following the arraignment
It exposed holes in his account of the deadly incident. He claimed he acted in self-defense after being dragged along the road by the car.
But the footage appears to show he fired the deadly shot almost immediately after DuBose started rolling away from the scene.
Tensing's first court appearance came hours after his attorney said charging his client with murder is 'absolutely unwarranted.'
Stewart Mathews said: 'Murder is the purposeful killing of another. There wasn't any purpose to kill this fella.'
Matthews said he expected Tensing to be indicted because of the 'political climate' but thought it would be on lesser charges.
Mathews told the Cincinnati Enquire a second video – not publicly shared – shows Tensing on the ground.
It apparently shows Tensing was knocked to the ground, dragged and 'feared for his life.'
Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges on Wednesday, adding Tensing 'purposely killed him' and 'should never have been a police officer.'
In a strongly-worded statement, Deter told the media he thinks Tensing lost his temper, but insisted the incident was the most 'asinine thing' he had seen in 30 years as an attorney and should never have happened.
Tensing saw DuBose driving his 1998 green Honda accord without a front license plate at about 6.30pm on Sunday, police said. Dubose, who has more than 60 arrests, continued driving for another mile after Tensing signaled for him to pull over.
He asked to see DuBose's driver's license several times, but he said he didn't have it one him and he was just heading home.
Tensing persisted so DuBose handed him a bottle of alcohol instead.
DuBose's supporters cheered in court after it was announced he would remain behind bars. It prompted the judge to intervene, warning them they should conduct themselves properly in a courtroom
Tensing's father was in the courtroom and watched as his son was told he faces life in prison
A grand jury indicted Tensing (mugshot left) on Wednesday on a charge of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of DuBose (right) in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 19
Body cam footage of the incident appears to show the second officer standing away from the car with his gun out. DuBose had driven the car half a block after Tensing shot him in the head
The confrontation started when Tensing pulled DuBose over for not having a front licence plate. They are seen talking to each other through the driver's side window
The officer then asked DuBose to step out of his vehicle and at that point, a struggle occurred.
As Tensing pulls the door open a few inches, DuBose pulls it closed and says, 'I didn't do nothing, man.'
As DuBose turns the key and revs the engine, Tensing pulls his gun, shouts, 'Stop! Stop!' and shoots DuBose in the head through the open window.
The car, essentially being driven by a dying man at that point, managed to make it a block before slamming into a lamppost.
Earlier on Wednesday, Tensing's attorney had said he wouldn't be surprised if his client were indicted given the political climate.
The officer handed himself on Wednesday and was placed in custody.
If convicted, Tensing faces life in prison. He has also been fired from the University of Cincinnati police department in the wake of the announcement.
According to a police report, Tensing said he was being dragged along by the car and was forced to shoot. Two other officers who arrived at the scene after corroborated his story.
But Deters says the video of the incident shows that wasn't the case.
The shocking footage appears to show DuBose 'slowly rolling away', before Tensing shoots him in the head.
He said: 'When you see this [the body cam video] you won't believe how quickly he pulls his gun. Maybe a second — it's incredible.
'He fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head,' Deters said, adding it was a 'chicken crap' stop.
When asked for a driving licence, DuBose handed over a bottle of alcohol instead. It was after this that Tensing asked the victim to step out of the car
After a struggle, where DuBose insisted he didn't do anything wrong, Tensing is seen pulling out his gun
'It's an absolute tragedy that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless. It's just horrible.
'He wasn't dealing with someone wanted for murder. He was dealing with someone without a front license plate.'
In a lengthy press conference, he added that the body cam footage was integral in filing charges.
He also suggested the University of Cincinnati Police should not exist and should instead be replaced by an extended unit of the city's police force.
DuBose's mother, Audrey' also addressed the media after the charges were announced, and forgave Tensing for his actions.
She thanked everyone for their support and insisted the decision was 'already a victory'.
Describing her son as 'non-violent' and a 'joker', she feared prosecutors wouldn't pursue serious charges because the shooting involved a police officer. She added that she's grateful authorities were as appalled as she was by the video.
'I'm so thankful that everything was uncovered,' she said. 'Everything is being revealed.'
'I trust God, and I knew it was going to be alright,' said Audrey DuBose, Samuel's mother. 'I knew that if this man [Tensing] went free, and nothing was done to him, it was because he was really a righteous man and he didn't do nothing.
'But I knew that my son was a righteous man. I knew that my son had the same spirit that dwells in me, dwell in him.
'That's how he was fed. So, if my son is righteous and he get killed, somebody had to be wicked here.'
His sister also spoke, suggesting his family knew the video would vindicate DuBose.
Terina Allen said the clip helped him avoid being stereotyped, or turned into just another 'neighborhood thug'
Tensing has five years of law enforcement experience and has worked with the University of Cincinnati Police department for more than a year, authorities said after the incident.
According to records released by the university last week, a supervisor gave Tensing a high appraisal score that put him between 'satisfactory' and 'superior'.
Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges on Wednesday, adding Tensing 'purposely killed him' and 'should never have been a police officer'
DuBose's mother, Audrey' also addressed the media on Wednesday after the charges were announced, and forgave Tensing for his actions