Officer who killed Sam DuBose will not be re-tried after two mistrials
On Tuesday, authorities announced that the former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed Sam DuBose during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015, would not be re-tried after two prosecutions ended in mistrials because of deadlocked juries.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the decision during a press conference held the day before the second anniversary of DuBose’s death. Deters, who had been involved in the case from the beginning and called former officer Raymond Tensing’s actions “a pretty chicken-crap stop,” said that he had decided against pushing for a re-trial after meeting with jurors and being told that he would never win, because some jurors would simply never convict a police officer.
“After discussing this matter with multiple jurors, both black and white, they have to a person said to us that we will never get a conviction in this case,” Deters said. “I don’t like it. My opinion of this case has not changed from two years ago tomorrow and it’s not gonna change.”
Deters also spoke about how he broke the news to the family on Tuesday before it was announced publicly, saying, “It was horrible. I just met with them and it was … it would be the reaction I would have if this was my brother.”
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DuBose’s sister, Terina Allen, said that the decision did not bode well for black families hoping to see justice, instead setting a precedent for police officers to get away with literal murder.
“Sam was judged by the jurors who didn’t want to convict because they valued Tensing’s life more,” she said, adding, “It wasn’t about evidence.”
Deters did note that he had referred the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, which was investigating it for possible civil rights violations.
In July of 2015, Tensing said that he was forced to shoot DuBose because he was being dragged by the car and risked being run over, but graphic body cam footage told a different story. Tensing can be seen in the footage to tell DuBose to take off his seat belt, and DuBose starts the ignition. Tensing orders DuBose to “stop” and shoves his gun into the car window, at which point he fires a single shot that strikes DuBose in the head.
The car lurches forward and then comes to a stop as Tensing runs after it and yells for medical assistance. The whole thing takes place in the span of two minutes.