Federal review ongoing in Sam DuBose fatal shooting

Sam DuBose in his car minutes before he was fatally shot on July 19, 2015. (FOX19 NOW/file)
Sam DuBose in his car minutes before he was fatally shot on July 19, 2015. (FOX19 NOW/file)
Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 11:56 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Federal officials said Friday their review into the fatal shooting of Sam DuBose at a July 2015 traffic stop remains ongoing, nearly three years after the second of two trials against the ex-University of Cincinnati police officer charged with killing him ended with deadlocked jurors and a mistrial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio said in 2017 the review would determine the potential for prosecution of Ray Tensing, 29, for civil rights violations in DuBose’s death.

It is not clear when their review might wrap up or what the outcome would be.

Beyond saying the review remains ongoing, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office offered nothing further Friday.

It took nearly three years for federal officials to review the fatal 2014 police shooting of a man carrying a rifle from a store shelf inside a Beavercreek Walmart. In 2017, the Justice Department announced there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

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Ray Tensing testifying Friday (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Ray Tensing testifying Friday (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has said he would not try Tensing a third time on charges of murder and voluntarily manslaughter.

RELATED: No third trial for ex-UC cop in shooting death of motorist

Tensing shot DuBose, 43, in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate July 19, 2015. He testified that he believed his life was in in danger and DuBose was trying to drive away.

Deters said at the time he supported a potential federal case against Tensing. Deters said his staff met in the summer of 2017 with federal investigators and turned over evidence.

Federal charges would be different than the state charges and would contain different elements. Some evidence left out of the state trials could be allowed in a federal court prosecution.

If Tensing were to be found guilty of violating DuBose’s civil rights, he could be imprisoned for any sentence, including life.

UC fired Tensing shortly after the shooting, and the university paid $5.3 million in a settlement to DuBose’s family. It also paid more than $350,000 in back pay, benefits and legal fees to Tensing.

The incident resulted in voluntary reform effort at the university with new police department leadership who have overhauled the agency and its policing style, data collection and accountability.

UC Police complete voluntary monitoring in light of Sam DuBose shooting | Here’s how UCPD has changed since DuBose shooting

After Tensing’s second trial was over, his attorney, Stew Mathews, said Tensing wanted to return to police work.

We reached out to Mathews for an update on Tensing, who told us:

“Ray is not working in Cincinnati - he is working out of state in a non-law enforcement job. I have not had any communication with the U.S. Attorney’s Office - they work at their own speed and do their work very quietly."

Tensing’s former UC police supervisor: ‘My heart goes out to Ray’

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