UPDATE @ 11 p.m., July 31
The shooting of Samuel DuBose by a former University of Cincinnati police officer now charged with murder on Friday night drew demonstrators to downtown Cincinnati.
The Black Lives Matter group held a rally, with some protestors reportedly being arrested.
Also Friday, the attorney representing the family of John Crawford III — a Fairfield man fatally shot by police inside a Beavercreek Walmart — is now on the legal team for the family of DuBose, a motorist gunned down during a traffic stop by former UC officer Ray Tensing.
Michael Wright of the Cochran Firm Ohio, is joining attorneys Mark O’Mara of Orlando — the attorney who successfully defended George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trevon Martin — and Cincinnati attorney Al Gerhardstein, who represented Jim Obergefell in the historic same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court earlier this year.
“I’m part of the team,” Wright said Friday night.
According to Wright, the DuBose family contacted O’Mara to represent them, and Wright said O’Mara asked him to join the team along with Gerhardstein.
Former UC officer Ray Tensing has been indicted on a murder charge in the July 19 death of DuBose.
“This should not affect the criminal case against the police officer,” Wright said of the family seeking legal counsel. “We would be fighting to bring a civil claim on behalf of the DuBose family.”
He said it’s too early to tell the timing of any civil action because there is still a lot of investigation that needs to be done in the case.
Wright also represents the Crawford family. He was fatally shot last summer inside a Beavercreek Walmart by police while he was carrying a BB gun off the store shelves. Police were called by a customer to a report of a man with a gun. Neither officer in the case was charged.
Wright also is representing the family of Dontae Miller, who was fatally shot July 23 by Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies following a crash.
“This is what I’m hired to do. I handle my time as necessary … I commit the amount of time that’s needed,” Wright said.
UPDATE @ 1:41 p.m., July 31
The former University of Cincinnati police officer accused of murder is filing a grievance to get his job back, according to our media partners at WCPO 9 on Your Side.
Officials with the Fraternal Order of Police-Ohio Labor Council said today that Ray Tensing filed a grievance with the university for breach of contract.
Tensing is accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old Sam DuBose during a July 19 traffic stop in Mount Auburn.
Executive Director Cathy Brockman said the grievance was filed quickly because “there’s a specific time frame in the collective bargain when grievance has to be filed. So we’re following that.”
Brockman said Tensing is seeking to be reinstated. However, the issue won’t be resolved until after Tensing’s criminal trial is over.
“Anybody can make a charge or accusation but until they’re convicted — we don’t really know how that’s going to go yet so he still has his right to his employment,” Brockman said.
Brockman said the union has two main issues to resolve with the university:
- Their collective bargaining agreement requires a pre-disciplinary hearing.
- The union believes Tensing was fired without just cause — i.e., simply being charged or indicted is not enough grounds to be fired — it’s just an accusation.
Brockman said the grievance will go through several steps before it gets to arbitration. Once at that point, the process will pause until the criminal proceedings are completed.
If Tensing is found guilty, Brockman said the union will regroup to decide what to do next.
UPDATE @ 7:18 p.m. Thursday
On the same day bond was set at $1 million for former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, the officer who backed his account of the fatal traffic stop was placed on paid administrative leave.
Officer Phillip Kidd backed Tensing’s account of the fatal encounter with 43-year-old Samuel DuBose at a traffic stop in Mount Auburn on July 19, according to our news partner WCPO 9 On Your Side. Kidd’s officer in training, David Lindenschmidt, was also placed on administrative leave, UC president Santa Ono said Thursday.
Kidd stated in the police incident report that he saw DuBose drag Tensing, and Kidd was recorded on his body cam video saying the same thing to Tensing and other officers at the scene. However, a grand jury dismissed those claims and indicted Tensing Wednesday for murder and involuntary manslaughter.
DuBose’s family cheered Thursday when Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan set the bond for Tensing at $1 million. Tensing posted 10 percent of that bond just before 7 p.m. Thursday.
After the bond was set, Shanahan set the next court hearing for 9 a.m. on Aug. 19.
Tensing was indicted earlier this week on one count of murder by a Hamilton County grand jury, which carries a possible penalty of 15 to life in prison. The indictment also included the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a three to 11-year prison sentence.
Terina Allen, DuBose’s sister, said they are happy with the bond, “would like to see justice prevail.”
“We’ll continue to watch the case and we appreciate the support of the community,” she said.
On July 19, Tensing initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle without a front license plate, which under Ohio law license plates must be on the front and back of a vehicle. DuBose questioned why he was pulled over, saying, “I didn’t even do nothing.” Tensing then attempted to open the car door and DuBose pulled it back shut. Then the stop escalated, resulting in Tensing firing a single shot into the side of DuBose’s head.
Tensing contends DuBose began to pull off and he was dragged, and Hamilton County Prosecutor says that was not the case, and Tensing fell backwards only because he fire his weapon.
Hamilton County Proseuctor Joe Deters did not mince words on Wednesday morning when he announced the muder indictment and released Tensing’s the body camera video of the incident. He said this officer-involved shooting was “without question a murder.” This is the first time in Cincinnati history an officer was indicted for murder following an officer-involved shooting.
Attorney Stew Mathews maintains his client’s innocence in the case, saying Tensing “was fearful for his own life,” that the car was going to “be sucked under that car and run over as it was pulling away from him. That’s why he fired.”
“There are two sides to this thing. The case will ultimately be tried and decided in a court room and that video tape is subject more than the interpretation that’s been put out there by the prosecutor,” Mathews said. “His interpretation from the time this happened that he was dragged by that car and thrown off it. I believe we get some witnesses, or an expert to evaluate that tape, we’d be able to substantiate that.”