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Activists Call For A Third Tensing Trial

Bill Rinehart
Coalition members talk to the press Friday morning outside the Hamilton County prosecutor's office.

A coalition of activist groups is calling for a third trial for Ray Tensing. The former UC police officer is accused of killing Sam DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop. His first two trials ended with hung juries.

The Black Lawyers Association, the NAACP, Cincinnati Black United Front, the Urban League, and the National Action Network sent a letter to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters demanding justice for DuBose through a third trial.

Donyetta Bailey is president of the Black Lawyers Association. She says justice has not been served.

"During the first jury trial, nine out of 12 jurors showed explicit racial bias on the jury questionnaire responses by agreeing or strongly agreeing that some races or ethnic groups tend to be more violent than others. Yet they were still allowed to serve as jurors in this racially charged case," she says.

Bailey says in the second trial, Judge Leslie Ghiz overruled most of the prosecution's objections, and sustained most of the defense objections. Ghiz excluded Tensing's Confederate flag t-shirt, which Bailey says showed his bias against African-Americans.

Bailey also has criticism for the prosecution team. "They didn't do everything they could have done." She says the prosecution could have filed a motion to suppress using marijuana found in DuBose's car as evidence, but didn't. And she says they could have used statistics to show Tensing stopped African-American drivers more than other U.C . officers.

"This case is not done. The DuBose family is not done," Bailey says.

Bishop Bobby Hilton of the National Action Network says there is frustration in the community. "We look to the justice system to be fair and just to all and we simply have not seen that."

Robert Richardson, Sr., is president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP. He says Tensing's body camera clearly showed what happened. "We're looking to find some way to believe in the justice system that is fair to African-Americans, and for us to have confidence in the system, we need to see a conviction (even) if they have to have five trials."

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has until July 24 to announce a decision on whether to pursue a third trial.