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Cincinnati Officials Prepping For Tensing Trial

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

Cincinnati officials are making safety plans as the trial of former UC police officer Ray Tensing begins later this month. 

He is charged with murder for the July 2015 death of Sam DuBose, who was shot during an off-campus traffic stop. 


Assistant Cincinnati Police Chief Mike John told Cincinnati Council's Law and Public Safety Committee Monday the department has handled large demonstrations in the past.


"We know that this is a passionate subject and runs to the core of many involved, and we're sensitive to that," John said.


Ray Tensing shot and killed Sam DuBose in July 2015 during an off-campus traffic stop. His attorney said Tensing feared for his life as DuBose started to pull away. Prosecutors said he should have just let him leave. 


John said the police department will be ready to respond appropriately based on what is happening.


"But we're very mindful that an overt police presence sometimes can agitate people even more," John said. "So we're mindful about how we deploy and how visible we are. We know when to add additional manpower to the field, and we will not hesitate to do that to make sure everybody is safe."


City officials were vague on their actual plans or strategies. However, the emergency operations center will be activated, and the police department is restricting officers off-time during the trial. 


City Manager Harry Black said officials are hoping for the best, but preparing for any potential scenarios. The city is also holding several meetings in the community.


"The idea here is we are trying to make certain that we touch all of the relevant stakeholders," Black said. "Although we won't have a lot of specifics, but the key is setting the stage for on-going communications and dialogue."


Jury selection in the Tensing trial will begin later this month, and the court proceedings are expected to continue through much of November.