Deters still thinks Tensing murdered DuBose, mayor calls for retrial, peaceful protests

Cincinnati city leaders including Police Chief Eliot Isaac, City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley, express disappointment over the trial's outcome Saturday. (FOX19 NOW)
Cincinnati city leaders including Police Chief Eliot Isaac, City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley, express disappointment over the trial's outcome Saturday. (FOX19 NOW)
Protesters outside the Hamilton County Courthouse Saturday. A 12:30 p.m. rally and march is planned. (FOX19 NOW
Protesters outside the Hamilton County Courthouse Saturday. A 12:30 p.m. rally and march is planned. (FOX19 NOW
Joe Deters talks to reporters after a mistrial is declared. (FOX19 NOW)
Joe Deters talks to reporters after a mistrial is declared. (FOX19 NOW)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati city leaders called for peaceful protests and a retrial in the wake of the Ray Tensing mistrial Saturday.

Both Mayor John Cranley and Police Chief Eliot Isaac expressed disappointment over the trial's outcome.

"I believe justice is holding Ray Tensing accountable for his actions," Cranley said in a press conference at City Hall.

He reminded the public that Samuel DuBose was not killed by a Cincinnati police officer. The police department is, in fact, he said, a national model for police-community relations.

Cranley said he and his wife were going to go ride the streetcar to Findlay Market for lunch and would be dining Downtown Saturday night. Downtown and Over-the-Rhine are safe, he stressed.

"Everyone has a right to express their feelings. Downtown is safe. The city is safe."

City Manager Harry Black said: "This is an emotional moment and we support the rights of people to express those emotions. But we also have a commitment to safety."

Isaac said police department's primary goal it to just ensure that everybody is safe.

If Tensing is retried for the death of Samuel DuBose, it would mean the case - including the first trial - will cost Ohio taxpayers more than $1 million, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

The jury told Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Shanahan about 10 a.m. Saturday morning they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict on both charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter, the second time they informed her that in two days. In all, they deliberated about 24 hours over four days.

She immediately declared a mistrial, and Tensing, whose 27th birthday is Sunday, left the courthouse under deputy escort.

"Obviously he's relieved he wasn't convicted of of anything, but he was hoping this would all be over by way of a not guilty finding," his lawyer, Stew Mathews, told FOX19 NOW in an exclusive interview.

Now, it's up to Deters to decide if he will retry the former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot DuBose in the head during a July 19, 2015 traffic stop.

And, if he does,on which charges.

Four jury members wanted to convict Tensing of murder, Deters said. The remaining eight elected to acquit him on the murder.

The majority of jurors, eight total, voted to convict Tensing of voluntary manslaughter. Four wanted to acquit on that charge.

"They just couldn't come to an agreement," Deters told reporters in the courthouse hallway Saturday.

He said he will announce by Nov. 28 whether his office will re-try Tensing after they review the trial and try to talk with jurors in an attempt to gain insight into their deliberations.

Deters has been roundly criticized by some since announcing Tensing's murder indictment 10 days after the shooting, especially among law enforcement and their supporters who contend the murder charge was inappropriate.

Deters, however, remained steadfast Saturday in his belief that Tensing committed murder, noting that it's rare to have a police officer commit such an act.

Yet, there are bad police officers, prosecutors and judges "and that's just the way it is," he said.

He also noted that he's cleared upwards of 100 police officers in use of force cases.

But not Tensing.

"I still think it's murder and I think that we proved it," he said. "You know, you are asking 12 lay people to try to make sense of very complicated legal instructions and things like that. We are going to look at what we did in this trial and make an assessment.

"We're going to find out what happened and the good news is, at least for the family and the state of Ohio, it was not a not guilty verdict and we just got to make an assessment of whether or not we can win a trial.

FOX19 NOW Legal Expert Mike Allen, who used to be the county prosecutor, said Deters botched Tensing's prosecution.

"This case was bungled and lost when the prosecutor's office decided to indict for murder," he said.

Deters acknowledged the DuBose family wants Tensing retried and said that isn't surprising. But, he added, "there is a process we have to go through to make sure we can win a trial."

The jury's racial makeup caused concern for some in the community. It consisted of ten white men and women and two black women.

Deters said two black men who were in the jury pool and were in the jury box during jury selection declined to be seated to the jury so they could hear evidence and help decide Tensing' fate.

"Well, the black men we had on the jury didn't want do it and they wanted off," he said. "They just said they didn't want to do it, said it would cause too much trouble in their life and they left.

"We had African American males on jury in the pool in the box and the two that we had said they didn't want to do it. It's random selection of registered voters and they were picked. They were in the box and they said they didn't want to do it. I don't know how you can blame the system for that. If they don't want to do it, they don't want to do it."

Deters said he felt good about the way his office prosecuted the case and praised the two veteran assistant county prosecutors who helped him try it, Mark Piepmeier and Rick Gibson.

"For any lawyer, it's a dream because they are so organized. They are so good, even though we had a hung jury. I am very proud of the way the office performed in this case. And let's not lose sigh of the fact that it's very, very difficult to get a conviction on a police officer, so we had to deal with that."

DuBose's fiancee expressed upset at the hung jury and the way the case was prosecuted, but Deters said DuBose's immediate family felt the opposite.

"She's just not paying attention because we did everything we could do and the immediate family knows that and has expressed thanks to the state repeatedly through this case and just now. People are going to have different opinions."

Asked his take on how the judge was reacting to the trial's outcome, Deters responded: "She's getting ready to have a child, so I think she's ready for that."

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