University of Cincinnati Police Officer Raymond Tensing was indicted Wednesday in the murder of Samuel DuBose, CNN reports.
Tensing opened fire on 43-year-old DuBose on July 19 after pulling him over for an alleged missing license plate. Newly released body cam footage shows Tensing opening fire on Dubose as he reached for his seatbelt. Initially, Tensing told investigators that he discharged his weapon after Dubose dragged him into his car and acted aggressively towards him. As we can clearly see, the body cam footage says otherwise.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters during a press conference. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”
“People want to believe that Mr. DuBose had done something violent towards the officer — he did not. He did not at all. I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost, and I feel sorry for the community, too.”
When asked by reporters whether or not he believes Tensing intentionally tried to mislead investigators with his initial statement following the incident, Deters replied:
“Yes,” he said. “I think he was making an excuse for the purposeful killing.”
DuBose’s mother, Audrey DuBose, expressed gratitude that her son’s killer is being brought to justice.
“I want everybody to just lift up their heads in prayer, and thank God because this one did not go unsolved and hidden,” she said.
Tensing turned himself in to authorities shortly after news of his indictment broke. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.
“We’ve now made a huge first step because in a situation where sometimes people believe that officers are not held accountable for their actions,” said DuBose family attorney Mark O’Mara. “In this case, one is being held accountable. So Cincinnati is showing the rest of us how to do this right.”
O’Mara adds that he does not believe there would have been an indictment if video footage hadn’t been available. Tensing has been charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. Deters says that the latter charge was added as a precaution in the event that the case is brought before a “goofy” judge who may try to throw out the murder charge without making a lesser provision.