Today (June 23) marks the third time in a week that a police officer has avoided a conviction after killing a Black person. A trial for Ray Tensing—the White former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed unarmed motorist Sam DuBose on July 19, 2015—ended in a mistrial. It was the second attempt to convict him. His first court battle concluded with a mistrial in November 2016.
Local station WLWT reports that the jury deliberated for 31 hours but could not reach a consensus. The jury was evenly split. Judge Leslie Ghiz told prosecutors they have until Tensing’s next court date, on July 24, to decide if they want to try the case again.
Per body camera footage, Tensing pulled over DuBose for a missing front license plate. DuBose handed the officer an unopened bottle of liquor from the floor of his car and then admitted that he was driving without a license. Tensing then told DuBose to remove his seatbelt, then the officer attempted to open the car door. Tensing proceeded to reach into the car and subsequently shot the Black man. Tensing originally told the department that DuBose dragged him with the car ahead of the fatal shooting, but the footage proved that to be untrue.
At the time, Hamilton county prosecutor Joe Deters said: “This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make—totally unwarranted.”
DuBose’s family issued the following statement after the announcement:
The family commends the prosecutors for their strong presentation in this case but we are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose…. We demand another retrial. We call on the community to join us in peaceful protest of this unjust result.