Former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, a white police officer, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man.
Judge Megan Shanahan set Tensing’s bond at $1 million during his arraignment.
According to the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, he posted bond after the hearing, and is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 19.
“This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said when he announced Tensing’s indictment. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015, that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”
Deters played recently-released body camera footage which he said contradicted the story Tensing relayed in his police report after the shooting.
Tensing fatally shot DuBose, 43, after puling him over for missing a front license plate, then said he had been dragged by the vehicle, fearing for his life, as DuBose tried to pull away in the car.
However, in the video, Deters said it did not appear that Tensing had been dragged.
“People don’t get shot for a traffic stop unless they are violent towards the police officer, and he wasn’t,” Deters stated. “He was simply slowly rolling away. That’s all he did.”
DuBose’s family has said they’re happy the body camera video revealed the truth about the incident.
“I just thank God everything has been revealed,” said Audrey DuBose, the victim’s mother. “And, I’m ready to join the battlefield, because my heart goes out for so many.”
In addition, “I think there’s enough to prosecute without the video camera,” stated DuBose’s sister, Terina DuBose Allen. “But, I just think it would have been much more difficult, because, people don’t listen. They just look at stereotypes.”
DuBose’s death has followed several recent killings of unarmed black men by police around the country, which has sparked nationwide protests.
“We respect the right of people to peacefully protest, and exercise their First Amendment rights,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley stated. “Our police department is prepared to respect that. Our police deparment is also prepared to deal with people that would violate the spirit of Samuel DuBose’s life, which was nonviolent, and, his family has called for the same.”
Currently, Tensing, 25, has been fired from his position with the University of Cincinnati Police Department. And, two other officers who’ve corroborated his story after the shooting have been put on administrative leave, pending an investigation into their statements.
The University of Cincinnati Police Department and the Cincinnati Police Department are two separate arms of law enforcement in the city.