Authorities in Ohio released video footage Wednesday that shows the shooting death of Samuel DuBose, a 43-year-old unarmed black motorist in Cincinnati, by Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, during a July 19 traffic stop. The video release came as authorities announced Tensing, a 26-year-old with previous experience on a municipal police force, has been indicted on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the DuBose shooting.
Tensing surrendered himself Wednesday afternoon at the Hamilton County Courthouse and officials condemned his actions in the shooting. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said Tensing should have never been a police officer, according to a report by the website Heavy. The video apparently showed Tensing exercising no restraint before shooting DuBose, constituting murder, Deters said.
The July 19 shooting strained racial tensions in Cincinnati, a city of 297,517 people that is almost evenly split between African-Americans and whites and has a history of unrest over issues of police brutality. University officials canceled classes and closed the campus early Wednesday.
“This decision is made with an abundance of caution in anticipation of today’s announcement of the Hamilton County grand jury’s decision regarding the July 19 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose and the release of the officer’s body camera video,” read a statement released by campus officials. “We realize this is a challenging time for our university community.”
Before the release of the video, Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffery Blackwell said that he had seen it and that it was “not good,” according to a report by local WCPO-TV. The video, captured on Tensing’s body-worn camera, shows the officer shooting DuBose in the head, killing him instantly, before the man’s vehicle accelerates and reportedly drags the officer.
Officials said Tensing had pulled DuBose over in nearby Mount Auburn. But it remained unclear Wednesday what exactly led to Tensing firing his weapon.