Earlier today, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was charged with the murder of Sam DuBose, 43, an unarmed Black man he shot in the head during a traffic stop. In the police report filed by one of the responding officers, Eric Weibel, Tensing claimed he was forced to discharge his weapon after DuBose attempted to “drag him” with his car and almost ran him over:
“Officer Tensing stated that he was attempting a traffic stop … when at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver. … Officer Tensing stated that he was almost run over by the driver, and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon. … Officer Tensing repeated that he was dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon.”
Officer Weibel also wrote that an officer named Phillipp Kidd corroborated Tensing’s statement, writing, “Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda Accord drag Officer Tensing, and that he witnessed Officer Tensing fire a single shot.”
However, the body camera Tensing was wearing tells an entirely different story. Tensing allegedly pulled over DuBose because his license plate was missing on his vehicle. In the video, which you can watch on YouTube, you can see and hear Tensing, who is standing on the driver’s side of the vehicle, ask DuBose about the missing license and the two have a short back and forth before Tensing asked DuBose to take off his seatbelt. DuBose is seen putting one hand on the car window and the other on the ignition (probably to turn the car off), and then seconds later, Tensing fires a single shot into DuBose’s head. According to the prosecution, using the footage as evidence, the car didn’t start moving until after Tensing had already shot DuBose, and that it was likely the result of his body slumping forward, putting his weight on the gas. And even still, Tensing does not appear to be dragged by the car (though if he had, it would have been his doing, given that he just murdered the driver).
“It is our belief that he was not dragged. If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very slow period of time from when the car starts rolling to when a gun is out and he’s shot in the head,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday. He went on, “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make, totally unwarranted.”
Asinine is not the word I would use to describe a police officer murdering an unarmed citizen for absolutely no reason, and then lying in the police report to cover it up. Tragic and deplorable and evil are three I would use. Here’s hoping Deters is better in the courtroom than he is with vocabulary, because as clear cut a case as this appears to be to me, a conviction is a long ways away. [Gawker]