US & Canada

Second US mistrial in Ohio police shooting of Samuel DuBose

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Media captionThe traffic stop began over a missing number plate

A mistrial has been declared for the second time in the case of a white police officer who shot dead an unarmed black motorist in Ohio two years ago.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict after 30 hours of deliberation in charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter against Ray Tensing, 27.

The Cincinnati officer killed Sam DuBose, 43, after pulling him over on 19 July 2015.

A prosecutor called it the "most asinine act" ever by a police officer.

Judge Leslie Ghiz declared the mistrial on Friday after the jury of nine white and three black people were unable to reach a verdict.

The jurors told the judge they were almost evenly split.

It is the fourth high-profile case recently where a police officer has not been convicted over the death of a black man:

  • On Wednesday, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is black, was cleared in the shooting of Sylville Smith
  • Last week, a jury found Minnesota officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty in the shooting of Philando Castile
  • Last month, Officer Betty Jo Shelby was cleared in the manslaughter of unarmed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mr Tensing stopped Mr DuBose near the University of Cincinnati, campus for a missing front number plate, and police bodycam shows their initial exchange was friendly.

Image copyright Cincinatti Enquirer/Family Photo
Image caption DuBose (right) was described by family as "a peaceful person"

The officer asks for Mr DuBose's driving licence, but he says he does not have it. He also shows an unopened bottle of alcohol in the car.

Mr Tensing then asks Mr DuBose to unbuckle his seatbelt. Almost immediately after that, a shot is fired and the car appears to move.

The officer fired a single round, hitting Mr DuBose in the head.

Mr Tensing had testified that he feared he could be run over as Mr DuBose tried to drive away.

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Media caption'I don't want you to get shooted': A four-year-old comforts her mother after the police shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile

But an expert said his frame-by-frame analysis of Mr Tensing's body-camera video showed he was not being dragged by the car.

Donyetta Bailey, who is president of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, said the Tensing case and others underline that juries are "implicitly biased" in favour of police officers.

"It shows our legal system has no value for African-American human rights," said Ms Bailey, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Mr Tensing was fired last year by the University of Cincinnati, which announced an overhaul of its policing department.

The university also reached a $5.3m (£4.1m) settlement with Mr DuBose's family, including free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children.

Mr Tensing's first trial last year also ended with the jury deadlocked.


Police shootings: Do cameras hold officers to account?

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Media captionAre cameras holding police to account?

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