DuBose family calls for 3rd Tensing trial, blasts judge on 2nd o - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

DuBose family calls for 3rd Tensing trial, blasts judge on 2nd one

(Pool/Cara Owsley) (Pool/Cara Owsley)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

After two mistrials, Sam DuBose’s family continues to call for a third murder trial against Ray Tensing.

“If Tensing is not convicted, he gets to be a police officer again,” DuBose's sister, Terina Allen, DuBose’s sister, said at a press conference Tuesday.

The DuBose family is calling for federal authorities to investigate and pursue civil rights violation charges against the former University of Cincinnati police officer. DuBose's sister cited the recent plea deal federal prosecutors worked out with Michael Slager, the South Carolina officer who fatally shot Walter Scott multiple times as the unarmed, older man fled, after a mistrial last year on a state murder charge.

Police officers, Allen said, need to be held accountable for their actions.

She also expressed frustration Tuesday at jurors in the second trial.

She said they focused on DuBose's drug record, number of arrests and 13 children instead of the shooting.

"The trial was about drugs, children and whether or not Sam's life was valuable," she said, later adding: "There's no such thing as murder in this country if this isn't."

Then, DuBose's sister blasted the judge who oversaw the second trial.

Allen said she felt like Tensing had two lawyers in court: his defense attorney, Stew Mathews, and Judge Leslie Ghiz.

"Judge Ghiz worked overtime to prevent justice for Tensing," she said. "I felt like we were sitting in a hostile environment."

Whenever prosecutors tried to tell jurors anything about Tensing – he pulled over more black drivers than any other UC police officer, he wore a T-shirt depicting a Confederate flag under his uniform the day he shot DuBose – the judge “shut that down," DuBose sister said.

"I wondered if she was wearing a Confederate flag under those robes," Allen said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters will not comment on the case or say whether he plans to re-try Tensing until the week of July 10, a spokeswoman for his office said Tuesday.

Deters delays talking about possible third trial for Tensing; protest on second mistrial set for FCC game

Tensing's second trial on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter ended in a second deadlocked jury and mistrial.

If Tensing is retried, it's not clear what charges he would face.

Deters has repeatedly insisted he believes Tensing, 27, committed murder when he shot DuBose, 43.

Just before Tensing's second trial, however, Deters gave a media interview despite a gag order in the case and said the judge could add a lesser charge for the jury to consider.

Then, one of the two assistant county prosecutors who handled the retrial unsuccessfully asked the judge to add the lower charge of reckless homicide. The request came when prosecutors wrapped up their case and just before the defense began presenting its side.

Tensing retrial judge rejects prosecution request for lesser charge

Even with an aggressive prosecutor, acquittals of police officers in Milwaukee and St. Paul in recent weeks reiterate a historical, national trend: juries rarely convict officers in fatal shootings regardless of how powerful video of the incident may appear to the public. 

An on-duty police officer kills about 1,000 people each year in the United States, according to data analytics by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University.

Since 2005, 29 officers have been convicted out of the 82 charged.

About 20 cases are still pending nationwide. 

The DuBose family also reiterated their demand that Cincinnati Police Sgt. Shannon Heine be investigated for possibly colluding with Tensing's defense.

Heine, the lead investigator on the case who interviewed Tensing a few days after the shooting, testified for the prosecution during both trials.

But, in a stunning and key moment during the second trial, her testimony boosted the defense. She was asked to to give her opinion about the case during cross examination by Tensing's attorney.

Under oath, she responded by saying thought the shooting may have been justified and she found nothing inconsistent with Tensing's statements.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Friday he is looking into the matter. 

An official internal investigation has not been opened, according to police union leader, Sgt. Dan Hils.

"I talked to the Chief in length yesterday and no decision has been made or will be made until he personally reviews the situation," Hils wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

Complete coverage: Ray Tensing trials

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