PRESS RELEASE, 7/18/2017

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces decision to dismiss charges against former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Raymond Tensing and refer matter to United States Department of Justice for possible prosecution

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced his decision to dismiss the charges against former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Raymond Tensing (DOB 11-13-89) for the shooting death of Samuel Dubose (DOB 3-12-72) on July 19, 2015. Tensing was previously indicted on 1 count of Murder (Special Felony) and 1 count of Voluntary Manslaughter (Felony 1).

The case will be referred for possible prosecution to the United States Department of Justice. Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutors recently met with local United States attorneys to review the matter and discuss referral to their office. Federal charges would be different than the state charges already pursued and would contain different elements. Some of the evidence excluded in the state trials might be admitted into evidence as relevant in a federal court prosecution given the different elements of the possible crimes. Possible prosecution in federal court could be under Title 18, U.S.C. Section 242.  A copy of the statute is attached.

Tensing was working as a UC police officer on July 19, 2015 when he stopped Dubose's car for failure to display a front license plate. The stop, which was captured by former officer Tensing's body camera video, resulted in Tensing firing one round to Dubose's head causing his death.

Tensing's first trial, before Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan, started on November 1, 2016. Testimony concluded November  8. On November 9, the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments and jury deliberation began. After deliberating for approximately 25 hours, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict and Judge Shanahan declared a  mistrial.

Tensing's second trial, before Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz, began on June 8, 2017. Testimony and closing arguments concluded on June 19. The jury deliberated for nearly 30 hours and was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Judge Ghiz declared a second mistrial.

Prosecutor Deters commented, "I have decided not to retry the Tensing case for a third time. After vigorously prosecuting Ray Tensing twice, speaking to some of the jurors and consulting with my assistant prosecutors, I do not believe there is a likelihood of success at trial.  The previous trials both ended in hung juries.  Although I remain firmly convinced of the appropriateness of the original charges and have no regrets about that, I cannot put the DuBose family or our community through another retrial when I am not convinced that there would be a likelihood of success at trial."

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DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right0 privilege protected by the Constitution or laws 6f the United States.

 For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal,  state, or local officials within their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's  lawful  authority,  if  the acts are done  while they purporting to" or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the

meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges  care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. 11 is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, family status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.           

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TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION-242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Updated August 6, 2015