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April V. Taylor
A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted for murder, and after a long wait, the footage from his body camera has finally been released. The footage shows Officer Ray Tensing shooting unarmed motorist Sam DuBose in the head despite the fact that he was not being belligerent or aggressive.
The University of Cincinnati campus has been shut down, and city officials have called in Homeland Security and federal marshals as they prepare for unrest following the release of the body camera footage. Prosecutor Joe Deters says that the footage clearly shows that Tensing murdered DuBose.
The footage shows Tensing grabbing the outside door latch of DuBose’s car after DuBose failed to produce a driver’s license. Tensing orders DuBose to remove his seatbelt, to which DuBose responds, “I didn’t do nothing man.” After Tensing opens DuBose’s door a few inches, DuBose pulls it closed, and Tensing pulls his gun, shooting DuBose in the head through an open window.
Mirroring what many in the community feel, Deters refers to the shooting as “asinine” and “senseless.” Deters also says the he believes Tensing “lost his temper because Mr. DuBose would not get out of his car. He wasn’t dragged. When you see it, you will not believe how quickly he pulled his gun and shot him in the head.” Tensing had originally claimed he shot DuBose in self defense, but the body camera footage directly disputes that.
For the first time in the city’s history, an officer is facing a murder charge for a killing that occurred while on duty. Deters has directly said that DuBose did not have to die and that the traffic stop “was a chicken-s*** stop.” DuBose’s family has called for calm, asking citizens to not tarnish Sam’s memory by acting violently. The city has a history of unrest and rioting over police shooting unarmed citizens, and city officials are hoping to avoid the past repeating itself.