After video released today shows he lied, a University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted Wednesday on a charge of murder for fatally shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop earlier this month.
It was so unnecessary for this to occur,” Joe Deters, the Hamilton County prosecutor, said at a news conference Wednesday.
Samuel Dubose, 43, was shot and killed during a July 19 traffic stop by Officer Ray Tensing. The 25-year-old officer initially said he had been dragged by the car before shooting, Deters said that the officer was not dragged.
“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,” he said.
Deters seemed emotional during his news conference, repeatedly referring to the shooting as a murder, saying, “if Dubose began to leave, the officer should have just let him go rather than shoot him in the head.”!Tensing was also charged with voluntary manslaughter and faces up to life in prison if convicted.
“I’m treating him like a murderer,” Deters said, adding that an arrest warrant was issued for Tensing on Wednesday.
“Could you imagine the outrage you would have if this was your kid, if this was your brother, over a stop like this?” Deters said. “And he didn’t do anything violent towards the officer. He wasn’t dragging him. And he pulled out his gun and intentionally shot him in the head.”
Audrey Dubose, mother of the slain driver, said she knew and prayed that the truth about her son’s death would be revealed.
“I’m so thankful that everything was uncovered,” she said at a news conference, repeatedly citing her faith and thanking God.
She said she could forgive Tensing if he asked for forgiveness. Calling her son a righteous, joyful man, Dubose said she thought the officer should have been “locked up on day one” and said she wondered why he was walking the streets in the days since the shooting.
“I thought it was going to be covered up,” she said. “I heard many stories and everything. But…I trust God, and I knew everything was going to be alright.”
An attorney for Dubose’s family said Wednesday that his relatives did not want a violent or aggressive response to the news of the indictment.
“We want those reactions to be completely peaceful,” Mark O’Mara said at a news conference. “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.”