Today the Hamilton County, Ohio prosecutor’s office released body camera footage showing University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing shoot and kill 43-year-old Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19th. Tensing will face murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. Speaking about the killing, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters used strong and condemning language, calling the killing “senseless” and “asinine.” He also said that the body camera footage of the killing was “invaluable” and that without it, he would probably have believed Tensing’s erroneous account of the incident.
DuBose’s death demonstrates once again that body cameras are not a police misconduct panacea. Tensing, who knew his body camera was on, shot an unarmed man in the head and then lied about being dragged down the street. Nonetheless, the tragic incident does provide an example of how useful body camera footage can be to officials investigating allegations of police misconduct.
Ahead of the release of the video Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said that the video “is not good.” If convicted, Tensing faces life in prison.
I’ve seen many police body camera videos while researching and writing about the technology, and the video of DuBose’s death is certainly among the most disturbing that I have seen.
Watch the footage below.