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Prosecutor: ‘He should have never been a police officer’

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters didn’t mince words this afternoon when announcing the murder indictment of a University of Cincinnati police officer for the July 19 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose.

“He should have never been a police officer,” Deters said during a press conference, referring to Ray Tensing’s actions as “the purposeful killing of another person” and saying that such an act of violence “just doesn’t happen in the United States.”

Before showing the body cam video footage, Deters detailed Tensing’s “asinine, senseless” actions during the traffic stop.

“You will not believe how quickly he pulled the gun and shoots him in the head,” he said.

Tensing, who turned himself in this afternoon, has been charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he faces 15 years to life in prison.

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Deters said Tensing wasn’t dealing with somebody wanted with murder, just someone who did not have a front license plate.

“This is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken-crap stop,” he said. “I could use harsher words but nonetheless, if he was starting to roll away … just seriously, let him go. I mean, you don’t have to shoot him in the head.”

Deters said Tensing’s attempt to clear himself following the incident constituted “making an excuse for the purposeful killing of another person.”

“Even with the body-cam video?” one reporter asked Deters during a press conference.

“I’m not saying he was smart, I’m just saying what I think he did,” he said.

Deters, who twice graduated from UC, called it a “wonderful university … but they’re not cops.”

“We have a great police department in Cincinnati, probably the best in Ohio and I talked to the chief about it today and I said ‘You guys should be doing this stuff’ and I think he’s in agreement with it,” Deters said, noting he also talked to Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and UC board members and plans to talk with UC President Santa Ono.

“I just don’t think a university should be in the policing business,” he said. “They got of them at University Hospital already. That’s over with. I think CPD should be doing the entire campus.”

University of Cincinnati earlier today canceled all classes starting at 11 a.m. today at its uptown and medical campuses.

“This decision is made with an abundance of caution in anticipation of today’s announcement of the Hamilton County grand jury’s decision regarding the shooting and the release of the officer’s body camera video,” reads a statement posted on the university’s website. “We realize this is a challenging time for our university community.”

The closing does not affect the Blue Ash or Clermont County campuses, according to the university.

Nor does it affect UC Health, the university’s affiliated hospital network, which noted on its Twitter feed online that health care facilities and practices remain open.

WCPO and other media outlets had sued Deters’ office demanding the release of video from Tensing’s body camera that captured the encounter between the two men.

After the incident, Tensing stated he fired one shot at DuBose while being drug by DuBose’s car when the man tried to flee the scene. That shot struck DuBose in the head, Tensing said.

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