Now that the body camera video of former police officer Ray Tensing killing unarmed Black man Sam Dubose has been released, many are hailing the swift action of prosecutor Joe Deters. Deters’ efforts were able to bring an indictment of murder for Ray Tensing by the grand jury. “It was so unnecessary for this to occur. … This office has probably reviewed upwards of hundreds of police shootings, and this is the first time that we’ve thought this is without question a murder,” said Deter.
The indictment came 10 days after Tensing shot and then lied about Sam Dubose during an unwarranted traffic stop for failure to display a front license plate. Originally, Tensing stated that Dubose attempted to flee and he was dragged by Dubose’s vehicle. However, the body-cam video shows a cold-blooded murder and that Tensing fell backward after he shot Dubose in the head. During an emotional press conference, Deters was angered and stated the traffic stop was “a pretty chicken-crap stop” and the shooting, “the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted” Deters went on to say, “Could you imagine the outrage you would have if this was your kid, if this was your brother, over a stop like this. … And he didn’t do anything violent toward the officer. He wasn’t dragging him. And he pulled out his gun and intentionally shot him in the head.”
The announcement of the indictment was greeted with relief by Sam Dubose’s mother, Audrey Dubose. “I thought it was going to be covered up. I heard many stories and everything. But…I trust God, and I knew everything was going to be all right,” she said.
“We want those reactions to be completely peaceful. Sam was a peaceful person….We do not want any violence, any anger to come out in a way that denigrates who he was and who he wanted to be remembered as,” said Mark O’Mara, the Dubose family’s attorney.
Dubose’s murder counts among the 558 people killed by police so far in 2015. Despite the overwhelming evidence of his client’s guilt, Tensing’s attorney Stew Matthews was quoted as stating that he would not be surprised by an indictment “based on the political climate here and nationally.”
Cincinnati officials are hoping that the swift indictment of Tensing will prevent rioting in the city.