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Cincinnati Cop Who Shot Unarmed Man Indicted for Murder

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Source: WLWT Source: WLWT
Source: WLWT Source: WLWT

NBC News


The white University of Cincinnati police officer who shot unarmed black man Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop has been indicted on a murder charge, a prosecutor announced Wednesday, saying the cop "purposely" killed the motorist and "should never have been a police officer."

In announcing the charge against officer Ray Tensing, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters lambasted the cop over the death of Dubose, 43, saying the fatal shooting was "the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make."

Dubose was pulled over July 19 for having a missing front license plate.

During the news conference, prosecutors played footage from Tensing's body camera.

The recording shows the officer asking Dubose about a bottle he sees on the floor of his car, and Dubose hands it to him. He then asks Dubose several times if he has his license on him.

Dubose asks what he's being pulled over for. He tells the officer he has a license, but it's not on him.

After Tensing asks him if his license is suspended, a short scuffle ensues. A few seconds later, Dubose is shot in the head while still behind the wheel of a car.

Dubose, a father of 10, was "dead instantly," Deters said.

At that point, the car starts rolling — likely because Dubose's body hit the gas, he added.

"He wasn't dealing with someone who was wanted for murder, OK? He was dealing with someone who didn't have a front license plate," Deters said of Tensing. "I mean, this is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken-crap stop, all right? And — I could use harsher words."

He added that even if Dubose was starting to "roll away," he should have just let him go.

"I mean, you don't have to shoot him in the head. And that's what happened," Deters added.

The prosecutor said he earlier spoke with Dubose's family to relay the pending charge.

Dubose's funeral was held Tuesday, and his family said they have retained Mark O'Mara, the former attorney of George Zimmerman, to represent them.

Last week, UC President Santa Ono announced that officers would no longer patrol off-campus streets.

The school also released a statement Monday that they would hire an independent reviewer to go over police policies.

Tensing has been placed on administrative leave with pay. He joined the university force in April 2014 after a year serving with the police department in the Cincinnati suburb of Greenhills.

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