Warning: Some portions of the video are graphic
CINCINNATI, Ohio — University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge for shooting motorist Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop this month. He turned himself in Wednesday afternoon.
If convicted, Tensing could go to prison for life, said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters in a press conference in which he played body camera footage of the shooting.
“He purposely killed him,” said Deters, saying that Tensing shot Dubose in the head. Deters called the killing “asinine” and “senseless.”
“I was shocked. I was shocked,” the prosecutor said, describing how he felt when he saw the video. “I realized what this was going to mean to our community and it really broke my heart because I know it’s just bad. It’s just bad what he did. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Deters said that Tensing said he pulled Dubose over because Dubose’s car was missing a front license plate.
A reporter asked if he thought Tensing tried to mislead investigators looking into the incident.
“Yes,” Deters said. “I think he was making an excuse for the purposeful killing” of Dubose.
The driver’s family agreed. Dubose’s mother told reporters after news of the indictment broke that she is grateful “everything was uncovered.”
“I want everybody to just lift up their heads in prayer, and thank God because this one did not go unsolved and hidden,” said Audrey Dubose.
The family lawyer said he does not believe there would have been an indictment if there hadn’t been video available of Dubose’s interaction with Tensing.
“We’ve now made a huge first step because in a situation where sometimes people believe that officers are not held accountable for their actions. In this case, one is being held accountable. So Cincinnati is showing the rest of us how to do this right,” said attorney Mark O’Mara.
Officer Tensing’s attorney, Steve Matthews, released the following statement on Wednesday:
“The guy jams the keys in the ignition. Turns the car on, jams it in the drive and mashes the accelerator. He wasn’t slowly pulling away. (Tensing) feared for his life. He thought he was going to be sucked under the car that was pulling away from him. He thought he was going to get sucked under and killed.”