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No Federal Charges For Ray Tensing In 2015 Death Of Sam DuBose


The U.S. Attorney's Office says it will not file criminal charges against former UC police officer Ray Tensing. During a traffic stop in 2015, Tensing shot and killed motorist Sam DuBose.

Tensing went on trial in Hamilton County Court twice and both juries failed to reach a verdict. Prosecutor Joe Deters decided not to try Tensing a third time. The case was turned over to the Justice Department for possible civil rights violations, but now the government has closed the case without filing any charges.

"Federal civil rights statutes – which are written by Congress – require federal authorities to prove beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously to a jury of 12 that a defendant willfully used unreasonable force with the specific intent of violating a victim’s constitutional rights," a statement reads. "To establish willfulness beyond a reasonable doubt, federal authorities would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the former officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. This is one of the highest standards of intent imposed by law." 

In both trials, the prosecution argued Tensing's actions were unjustified. The defense said Tensing feared for his life and shot to "stop the threat."

Local civil rights attorney and DuBose family spokesperson Al Gerhardstein told our news partner WCPO the family is "extremely disappointed."

"The family is crushed about this; they feel very low about this," he said.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.
Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.