An independent investigative report calls the shooting of Sam DuBose "entirely preventable" and said former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing made "critical errors in judgment" during the fatal traffic stop.
UC released the 65-page review, conducted by Kroll, on Friday. Kroll interviewed 20 witnesses, 16 cops and reviewed eight separate body cameras.
The report is consistent with the criminal investigation of the July 19 incident. Tensing, 25, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Tensing said he was being dragged by DuBose's vehicle as he tried to flee the stop, but Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Tensing's body camera video showed he murdered DuBose, 43.
Tensing was justified and acted appropriately when he pulled DuBose over for missing a front license plate, the report states. But Tensing then exercised “poor police tactics” after ordering DuBose to step out of the car.
“Rather than de-escalating the encounter and allowing DuBose to drive away and subsequently calling in a request for assistance, Tensing escalated the situation by improperly reaching into the car in an attempt to restrain DuBose,” the investigation found.
Use of Deadly Force
Tensing’s use of deadly force violated UCPD policy, the report states.
The report claims it was unnecessary for Tensing to draw his weapon when DuBose re-started his car. The use of deadly force was not reasonable within department policy as “DuBose had not demonstrated any aggression or threatening behavior.”
Tensing’s claim that he was dragged
Tensing explained that he was “holding on for dear life” and “getting dragged” by the vehicle as DuBose attempted to flee the traffic stop. Evidence reviewed and analyzed does not support those statements, the report says.
Any car movement before the moment Tensing fired his weapon appears to have been minimal, the review found.
“Contrary to Tensing’s statements, at no point in the body camera video footage does it appear that Tensing’s arm is lodged or caught in the steering wheel of the Accord or other aspect of the car’s interior. A split second before Tensing discharged his weapon, Tensing appears to have been in complete control of his arm and hand movements, with no part of his body caught or lodged in the car.”
The other officers
Two UCPD officers were placed on administrative leave following the case. Despite initial discrepancies in the officer’s reports, a grand jury cleared them of wrongdoing and they are back on the job.
The review found the officers acted properly and provided statements that were “credible and consistent with the evidence.”
“The contact of the statements that Officer Kidd made occurred two minutes and then five minutes after the incident occurred. The officer was in the middle of a chaotic situation and what he did was he assented to the statement of another—Tensing—when he was given an opportunity to catch his breath and give a complete explanation, he was very forthright, he was very truthful and reasonable in his expressions,” said UC public safety director, James Whalen.
“Based on our findings of fact and evaluation of the body camera video footage, we find Officer Tensing was not factually accurate – and possibly not truthful – in his statements to the CPD on July 21, 2015, in an apparent violation of UCPD Rules of Conduct, Section A.43(a). 19,” the report states.
Tensing has pleaded not guilty.
He is back in court in November for another hearing as he prepares for trial.
FOX19 NOW will continue to update this story.
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