Butler County Sheriff: I'd consider hiring Ray Tensing - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Butler County Sheriff: I'd consider hiring Ray Tensing

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones in his Hamilton office Tuesday. (Jennifer Baker/FOX19 NOW) Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones in his Hamilton office Tuesday. (Jennifer Baker/FOX19 NOW)
Ray Tensing (Provided) Ray Tensing (Provided)

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said he would consider hiring Ray Tensing.

"He would be like anybody else that could apply for a job here," Jones said Tuesday in an interview at his Hamilton office.

"I've never talked to him. I've never talked to his attorney. I have talked this one of his supervisors in his career that said he done a great job and what I've seen of what he's done in Cincinnati, he was an outstanding employee. Everybody loved him up at UC and there's no issues I've seen and he could apply."

Murder and voluntary manslaughter charges were formally dropped Monday against Tensing, 27, in the shooting death of Sam DuBose at a 2015 traffic stop.

The move came less than a week after Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced he would not seek a third trial against the former University of Cincinnati police officer.

The first two ended in mistrials when both juries could not reach a unanimous decision.

 "It's still America and if you are found not guilty or they can't find you guilty and the charges are all dropped, you can go back and get in your career and do what you want to do. and if that's what he wants to do, according to his attorney, he should have the right to be able to get him a job."

Jones dismissed Deters' characterization of Tensing as a murderer who made a "chicken crap"stop when he pulled DuBose over for driving a vehicle without a front license plate that also was registered to a female driver 

"Just because the prosecutor said that he was an animal and should never work in law enforcement again, I don't pay any attention to what was said. I pay attention to the people who supervised him.

"I believe he was sacrificed. I believe that he made a good stop. Not having a front plate is a stoppable offense. Whether Mr. Deters likes it or not, we use it everyday. Police stop people with no front plate. It's the law. You can do that...here in Ohio, it's a violation. You can be stopped. You can be pulled over and be asked all kinds of questions. 

"If you switch lanes without a turn signal, you can be stopped. You may think that's not a good stop, but it's a good stop until somebody gets shot and killed and then all the second guessers come out.

"That can be any police officer in the country. If that law is on the books, you stop somebody without a front plate and it escalates from that point forward, if DuBose had complied, he would be alive today."

The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the case to determine if Tensing, who is white, violated DuBose's civil rights. DuBose was African-American.

 Jones confidentially predicts federal officials would not find evidence to warrant charges.

"From what I have seen, unless there is some secret stuff that nobody knows and it's kept secret, there is no civil rights violation. I don't think (Tensing) went to work that day and had plans on doing any of this. I believe it's very unfortunate and he has to live with this the rest of his life. And he was the lowest-hanging fruit, so he was the one who was sacrificed."

Race, Jones said, has nothing to do with the traffic stop or DuBose shooting. Tensing was doing the job University of Cincinnati's police officials had instructed him and his fellow officers to do.

In fact, Jones said, he believes Tensing should sue the university, who fired Tensing the same day Deters announced his indictment.

"Basically they defamed him," Jones said of UC.

"(UC) said terrible things about him that I've seen in the news media and they got rid of him immediately and joined everybody else in the settlement and then they threw him out there as the scapegoat. So I believe that he should sue for his job back and defamation of character. Period."

If Tensing were to apply to work for the sheriff's office, Jones said he would not seek community input before deciding whether or not to hire him.

"I don't call the community and ask them who I should hire and who I shouldn't hire. I get hired and fired every four years. I just got hired and I get hired by 75, 80 percent of the vote,so I must be doing something right. They trust me to make those calls. 

"I have not hired anybody yet. But he can apply just like anyone else, sure."

Jones said he hasn't considered what position Tensing could work if he even were to apply.

"I would imagine he is trying to heal and pay some debt."

The sheriff said he would not be concerned over community backlash if he were to hire Tensing.

"Why would I? What kind of backlash would I get? You mean the people who come and protest? Well, they do that all the the time anyway. I have a fundraiser, there's protesters. If I'm somewhere speaking, there's protesters. 

'"I don't do my job like most politicians because there's protesters against me. I do what I think is right and of sound mind and I try to do the right thing. Pretty simple for me, I've done that my whole life.

"I don't always make the decisions that I would make sometimes if I made them maybe a little slower... but I this isn't a decision I made just yesterday. I've been talking about this for quite some time and I wish Mr. Tensing well and I hope he can go on with his life."

Tensing "is qualified to be hired by somebody," said his attorney, Stew Mathews.

"That's what he's always wanted to do. Whether he's interested in being a policeman around here, I don't know," Mathews said Tuesday. "At this point, we have not talked about his intentions for the future."

While Tensing is relieved the state's criminal case against him has ended, he remains concerned about the potential of federal authorities taking action and is not publicly commenting until that plays out, Mathews said. Neither are Tensing's relatives.

"It's kind of like it ain't over til it's over," he said.  "We are just sort of in a wait-and-see mode."

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