Criminal Justice

Murder case against cop over fatal traffic stop 'absolutely unwarranted,' his lawyer says

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A murder indictment against a former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a man he had pulled over for lacking a front license plate was “absolutely unwarranted,” a lawyer for the fired cop says.

Attorney Stewart Mathews said he had expected officer Ray Tensing, 25, to be indicted on lesser charges in the death of Samuel DuBose, 43, who was shot in the head in a traffic stop earlier this month, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the New York Times (reg. req.) and USA Today.

However, his client fired only after he was knocked down, dragged and “feared for his life,” the lawyer continued, adding: “Murder is the purposeful killing of another. There wasn’t any purpose to kill this fella.”

Tensing cried when he learned he had been indicted, Mathews said.

Although Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday that a bodycam video showed Tensing had “purposefully killed” DuBose in a “senseless” slaying, Mathews insisted that additional video footage, not shown by Deters at a news conference, supported his client’s account.

Related coverage:

Cincinnati Enquirer: “What we know about Officer Tensing”

Slate: “The Sam Dubose Police Report Is Full of Falsehoods From Ray Tensing’s Fellow Officers”

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