Friday, 21 September, 2018

Three trials, no convictions in fatal police shootings

Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing left and his attorney listen as a judge tells the jury to continue deliberations after the jury said they are deadlocked Three trials, no convictions in fatal police shootings
Sandy Vega | 27 June, 2017, 04:57

A judge declared a mistrial Friday after an OH jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the trial of a police officer who shot and killed a man during a July 2015 traffic stop. Samuel DuBose, 43, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in July 2015. His death, which one prosecutor called "senseless", fueled the debate over race relations in policing.

There was no agreement among the experts, for example, about whether DuBose pinned Tensing's arm against the steering wheel. His legal team argued that his arm appears to be inside DuBose's vehicle as DuBose starts to drive away.

On July 19th, 2015, DuBose was driving just south of campus with Tensing spotted his green 1998 Honda Accord, which was lacking a front license plate. Prosecutors state that the video shows that DuBose's auto wasn't moving until about one second before Tensing fired his gun.

"The family commends the prosecutors for their strong presentation in this case, but we are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose", the family said in a statement.

Alicia Napier, a civilian witness also testified that she was "100 percent sure" that the auto moved after Tensing shot, according to the AP.

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty last week in the shooting death of motorist Philando Castile, whose dying moments were live-streamed on Facebook.

USA prosecutors have found it hard to convict police officers in high-profile shooting cases involving black victims - despite recent incidents being captured on video. We call on the community to join us in peaceful protest of this unjust result.

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Jurors in the second trial consisted of nine white jurors and three black jurors.

Jurors sent a note to the judge Friday morning saying they were hopelessly deadlocked after about 27 hours of deliberating.

The case is among several across the country in recent years that have raised attention on how police deal with blacks. "I didn't shoot to kill him".

As the traffic stop began, Tensing greeted DuBose: "Hey, how's it going, man?" Two were acquitted and one trial ended in deadlock.

Peterson Mingo, a DuBose family spokesman and Cincinnati pastor, appealed for calm after Friday's nonverdict. Prosecutors, though, have argued that Tensing had not been in serious danger and that the use of deadly force was unnecessary. The trial took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Body-camera video from another officer - played for the jury last week - showed that Heaggan-Brown shot a second bullet into Smith's chest after the suspect hurled his weapon over a fence and had his hands near his head.

Asserting the video did not definitively prove the prosecution's arguments about whether Tensing was dragged, Mathews reminded the jury of "Sully", the 2009 movie about airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger who became a hero by making an emergency landing on the Hudson River with no loss of life.

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