Judge declares mistrial for Ray Tensing, white ex-Cincinnati officer who killed driver
An Ohio judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a white former police officer accused of murdering an unarmed black driver during a traffic stop last year.
The jury on Saturday was unable to reach a verdict for Ray Tensing, 26, charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose — an incident caught on police bodycam.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan accepted the jury's deadlock Saturday morning. The case is now back in the hands of prosecutors, who must decide whether they will retry the case or dismiss it. In the meantime, Tensing will remain free on $1 million bond.
Tensing, who was fired from the University of Cincinnati's police force, faced up to 15 years in prison for the murder charge.
Photos from the case:
The decision came on a fourth day of deliberations by 10 white and two black jurors, who were tasked with weighing whether the shooting was a justifiable use of force after Tensing testified he feared for his life.
The trial is also a rare example of a police officer being charged in such a case — after several high-profile deaths of African-Americans at the hands of cops has caused deep divisions between law enforcement and communities of color.
The defense said Tensing used his car as a weapon, and the officer pulled his weapon when he feared for his life when he was dragged.
Prosecutors, however, maintained he was not dragged — and bodycam footage doesn't show that key point.
The city of Cincinnati, on edge during the trial, was placed on high alert Friday in the event of impromptu demonstrations.