A trial date has been scheduled for former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder after he fatally shot Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop.
Hamilton County common pleas judge Megan Shanahan said on Thursday that the trial will begin on the 24th of October – 15 months after Tensing was originally charged – and that both sides will return on April 6 for a pre-trial hearing. Tensing has also been charged with voluntary manslaughter and has been released on $1m bond since last year.
Tensing’s attorney Stewart Matthews said his client feared being dragged under the car as motorist Samuel DuBose tried to drive away after being pulled originally for missing a front license plate.
Video footage completely contradicts the original statement that Tensing gave following the incident, which clearly shows the car at a standstill originally and then gradually rolling very slightly, more than likely indicating a momentary foot off the break and not an escape attempt.
The report details how Tensing told the reporting officer – Eric Weibel – that “he was attempting a traffic stop when, at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver who was operating a 1998 Green Honda Accord.”
Later in the report, “Officer Tensing stated that he almost was run over by the driver of the Honda accord and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon.”
The shooting came just a few weeks after Sandra Bland was found mysteriously dead in a holding cell amidst a summer of racially charged violence inflicted on the African American community.
The university fired Tensing and restructured its public safety leadership following the incident. UC and DuBose’s family reached a $5.3m settlement that includes free undergraduate tuition for DuBose’s 12 children in January.
Injustice is, of course, pleased to see this trial beginning to move forward but expresses its disappointment again in the double standards of our criminal justice system, which not only protects law enforcement in allowing them to continuously delay trials to the maximum length possible (bringing more heartache and stress on the DuBose family), but additionally allowing a man who knowingly executed a civilian in cold blood to remain free on bond.
We are left wondering if the roles had been reversed, if Sam DuBose had murdered Ray Tensing, would he be incarcerated until the time of trial, and how quickly would that trial move forward?