Who is Officer Tensing? Attorney says client is 'depressed,' 'extremely worried'

Tensing's attorney, Stu Mathews (Source: FOX19 NOW file)
Tensing's attorney, Stu Mathews (Source: FOX19 NOW file)
Sam DuBose (Source: Sam DuBose, Google +)
Sam DuBose (Source: Sam DuBose, Google +)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The attorney for the University of Cincinnati Police Officer who was involved in the shooting death of Sam DuBose told FOX19 NOW Tuesday that his client is "depressed," "extremely worried" and "concerned about his family."

Stew Mathews, who represents UC Police Officer Ray Tensing, told FOX19 NOW that he has seen a copy of the body camera video that captured the final moments before DuBose was shot and killed by Tensing during a July 19 traffic stop in Mt. Auburn. Mathews says the actual incident lasts five seconds or less.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has refused to release the footage because he said it would hurt his investigation and could taint the grand jury process.  He said he expects to complete his investigation  and present findings to the grand jury by the end of this week.  He has said the footage will be released at some point, "just not right now."

Mathews said he think the release of the tape would be helpful, but supports Deters' decision to wait to release the tape until after the investigation is completed.

The video footage is especially critical after some of the records released so far in the case appear to have major inconsistencies.

A police incident report says Tensing was being "dragged" by DuBose's vehicle and "had to fire his weapon." Tensing also hurt his right arm and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

But in the recording of Tensing's call to the emergency dispatcher, he says nothing about being dragged. He also said he was not hurt.

Tensing said he was nearly run over by DuBose's vehicle, according to both the incident report and call recording.

DuBose was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

Mathews would not speculate on what he thinks Grand Jury will decide.

Before Tensing was with the UC Police Department, he was working with the Green Hills Police Department.

"He did by-the-book when he was here in Greenhills," said Chief Neil Ferdelman with the Greenhills Police Department, speaking of Tensing's tenure with the department.

Tensing was employed at the department from 2011 to 2014.

"He worked on and off.  He started out as a part-time officer, went full-time in 2013.  He went back to part-time in 2014 when he was hired by the University of Cincinnati," Ferdelman said.

Mathews says that police work is always what Tensing wanted to do, but doesn't know if he ever wants to go back to police work again in light of the shooting death of DuBose.

The entire incident involving Tensing and DuBose is believed to be caught on Tensing's body camera.  Mathews says the tape is 25 minutes in length, but the incident in question lasts only a few seconds. 

"Ray did a good job for us as a police officer in the community.  There was really no drama, no events," said Ferdelman.

Performance evaluations for Tensing made by his superiors in 2012, 2013 and 2014 were made available to FOX19 NOW by Ferdelman Tuesday.  In two of them, Tensing scored as "meets standards."  In the third, he rates in the highest category possible, that being "above standard."

In those evaluations, Tensing has been praised for picking up shifts, being a dedicated officer, and being a self-starter.

In an evaluation in 2014, the reviewer writes that, "We would like to see Officer Tensing be more visible in the Village itself and look for violations in residential areas."  That write-up is strikingly similar to a narrative written in a 2014 evaluation from the University of Cincinnati with the reviewer saying, "I would like him to interact with the community in a more service-oriented manner."  But, he's also praised for being "extremely active with traffic."  In another part of that evaluation, it's written, "I would like to see PO Tensing interact with the university and surrounding community more than just with traffic enforcement."

"Ray just was, at least by his supervisor's judgement, was an average officer," Ferdelman said.        

A 2013 Greenhills report says Tensing is a Colerain High School graduate, and a grad of the UC Police Academy.  He has a degree in Criminal Justice from UC.

"There are two families that are going through bad times right now.  I understand this is most likely a life-changing event for a police officer," Ferdelman said.

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