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Samuel Dubose Square
Samuel Dubose Square

Police Officer Indicted On Murder Charges In Fatal Shooting Of Samuel DuBose

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted on murder chargers in connection to the sooting death of Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man who was pulled over for a routine traffic stop earlier this month. Local prosecutors filed the indictment against officer Ray Tensing Wednesday during a press conference, at which Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters stressed "I'm treating him like a murderer."

DuBose was fatally shot in the head by the officer on July 19 in the midst of a nonviolent, non-confrontational traffic stop that may be described as "confused" at most. Body camera footage showing the complete encounter, including Tensing's use of deadly force, was released by Deters and described as the most "asinine" action he's ever witnessed from a law enforcement officer.

As numerous outlets, including Gawker, have pointed out, the new body camera evidence directly contradicts the would-be official police report filed by Tensing following DuBose's death. Tensing's statement claimed that he "was attempting a traffic stop ... when at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver. ... Officer Tensing stated that he was almost run over by the driver, and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon. ... Officer Tensing repeated that he was dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon.” Tensing's falsifications were also reportedly backed up by a colleague, officer Phillip Kidd, who wrote the following:

Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda Accord drag Officer Tensing, and that he witnessed Officer Tensing fire a single shot.

The New York Times reports that Tensing faces both murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, and could face life in prison if convicted. At Wednesday's press conference, Deters affirmed that he did in fact take Tensing's report to be purposefully misleading. "Yeah, yes," he said, "I think he was making an excuse for the purposeful killing of another person.”

“I think he lost his temper because Mr. Dubose wouldn’t get out of his car,” he said. The video of Tensing stopping DuBose, and fatally shooting him, can be viewed below but we STRONGLY urge you to use discretion, as it is extremely disturbing, violent and saddening. It's with discouraged hope that we report on these stories--that spreading the unjust tales of the present may open eyes, hearts and minds for the sake of a safer future.