by Danny Cross and Nick Swartsell 07.29.2015 71 days ago
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Grand Jury Indicts Officer in Death of Samuel Dubose

Hamilton County prosecutor: Tensing purposely killed Dubose

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters today announced that a grand jury has indicted University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing for the killing of Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop on July 19. Tensing will be arrested and charged with murder. If convicted, he will face life in prison.Deters had harsh words for Tensing, calling his shooting of Dubose “the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make” and stating that Tensing should never have been a cop in the first place. Deters repeatedly told members of the media that he could not speak candidly about his feelings, at one point calling the traffic stop itself “chicken crap.” Deters said he was shocked by the video and sad for the community. “I couldn't believe it,” Deters said of the body cam footage. “I just could not believe it.”WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGEOfficials played a portion of Tensing’s body cam video at the press conference. The entire video will be made available, Deters said. Deters’ description of the encounter sharply contradicts Tensing’s story. "This does not happen in the United States," Deters said. "People don't get shot for a traffic stop. ... He was simply rolling away."During the press conference, Deters referenced a latter portion of the video showing officers after Tensing shot Dubose discussing what had happened. Deters expressed skepticism toward some of Tensing’s comments after the incident, including his arm being caught in the car. Police will investigate collusion with other officers, Deters said.“He said he got his arm stuck in the steering wheel,” Deters said. “You just have to watch it.”“I think he was making an excuse for a purposeful killing of another person,” Deters added. “That’s what I think.”Tensing’s initial explanation was that Dubose started to drive off during a traffic stop in Mount Auburn over a missing license plate, nearly running him over. Tensing says he was then forced to shoot Dubose in the head because he was being dragged by the car and his life was in danger. Tensing said he suffered minor injuries when he fell to the ground as Dubose’s car rolled away. Dubose's family said they were thankful for the grand jury's decision."I thank God that everything is being uncovered," said Audrey Dubose, Samuel's mother. "This one did not go unsolved and hidden."Audrey Dubose pledged to continue fighting against police injustice, calling for body cameras for all police departments. She said many others have died at the hands of police unnecessarily. "My son was killed by cop unjustly," she said. "I gotta know many more are killed unjustly. I'm going to be on the battlefield for them."City leaders delayed a scheduled a news conference at 2 p.m. in order to let the Dubose family speak after Deters. Officials praised the grand jury's decision, saying that the city simply wanted truth about the incident to come out. Mayor John Cranley called for demonstrators to remain peaceful if they took to the streets. City Manager Harry Black said the Cincinnati Police Department will soon get body cameras similar to the one that played a pivotal role in the Dubose shooting investigation. University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono, meanwhile, revealed that Tensing had been fired from the University of Cincinnati Police Department. He also responded to an earlier suggestion from Deters, who said the school should disband its police force and let CPD patrol campus. Ono said the school has not yet considered that option.More than 500 people including Mayor John Cranley, City Manager Harry Black and State Sen. Cecil Thomas attended Dubose’s funeral services at Church of the Living God in Avondale yesterday, where the father, musician and entrepreneur was laid to rest. His mother and other family members remembered him as a kind and loving man who nevertheless had a deep, sometimes complicated independent streak. Dubose was buried at Landmark Memorial Gardens in Evendale. Until today, Deters had declined to release video footage, a decision that caused protests. Deters said the protests did not affect his decision to finally release the footage. He lauded the protesters for being peaceful and praised the Dubose family. City Manager Black had been briefed on the video and called it “a bad situation,” saying, “someone has died who did not necessarily have to die.” Mayor Cranley met with the Dubose family this morning. Tensing, 25, hasn’t had major disciplinary actions on his record and his superiors have spoken highly of him. He started at UC last year after serving with the Green Hills Police Department, where he started as a part-time officer in 2011. Tensing has retained Stew Matthews, a Cincinnati attorney, for his defense.During the press conference, Deters called for the disbanding of the University of Cincinnati police department. He said he has spoken with UC’s president and Cincinnati police about disbanding the unit, replacing it with CPD. “I just don’t think a university should be in a policing business,” Deters said. “I just don’t. I think CPD should be doing the entire campus.” Black Lives Matter has scheduled a rally for 6:30 p.m. at the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Declines to Release DuBose Shooting Footage

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has declined to release police body cam footage showing events that led up to the death of Samuel DuBose.   

Searching for Answers

Family and friends await details about the police shooting death of Samuel Dubose in Mount Auburn

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2015
On July 20, more than 100 mourners gathered in the small, isolated section of Mount Auburn in the shadow of Christ Hospital where Samuel Dubose died the previous day.  

City Desk July 22-28

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2015
ResponsibleOhio, the $20-million campaign to legalize marijuana, learned on July 20 that its petition fell nearly 30,000 signatures short of putting a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot Nov. 3.        

Worst Week Ever!: Nov. 27-Dec. 3

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Cincinnati Health Commissioner Noble Maseru said the city intends to work toward greater equity in life expectancy among races, though he refused to admit that reducing the life expectancy of whites would make this happen sooner.   
by German Lopez 08.27.2013
Posted In: News, Governor, Courts, Privacy at 09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

Former governor dies, facial recognition program criticized, county prosecutor mocks court

Former Gov. John Gilligan, a Cincinnati Democrat best known for winning the creation of the state income tax, died at 92 yesterday. Gilligan’s most lasting accomplishment was also what doomed his career; the state income tax was unpopular when it passed, even though it allowed Gilligan to boost funding for education, mental health and law enforcement programs. Gilligan’s political career began in Cincinnati Council. From there, he rose to U.S. representative and then governor. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio yesterday asked Attorney General Mike DeWine to shut down a facial recognition program used by law enforcement until state officials verify and develop safety protocols that protect Ohioans’ rights to privacy. DeWine formally unveiled the program in a press conference yesterday. It allows police officers and civilian employees to use a photo to search databases for names and contact information. Previously, law enforcement officials needed a name or address to search such databases. The program has been live for more than two months and so far used for 2,677 searches, but until now it was kept hidden from the public and hasn’t been checked by outside groups for proper safety protocols. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters stepped down as Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter’s attorney and called her handling of the court a “judicial circus.” Hunter has been mired in controversy ever since she took the bench: She was found in contempt by a higher court, and she’s been sued multiple times by media, including four times by The Cincinnati Enquirer. Deters, who under state law had to legally represent Hunter, said the legal troubles were too much, but his stepping down also complies with Hunter’s wishes to find her own hand-picked attorney. The University of Cincinnati is one of the top colleges where students can get the most out of their money, according to PolicyMic. UC performs better than average in the graduation rate, debt at time of graduation, percentage of undergraduate students receiving Pell grants and starting salary after graduation, yet the school manages to stay only slightly above the national average for tuition and board and room costs. Mayor Mark Mallory previously approved eliminating city parking requirements, which should allow residential development projects to greatly reduce or completely toss out parking space mandates downtown. “The goal of the ordinance is to encourage development in the urban core by permitting developers to determine their own parking needs for downtown developments,” said Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. “I firmly believe that the market will work to meet parking demands better than government minimum parking requirements.” The tax changes passed in the state budget earlier this year, including an income tax cut and sales tax hike, will go into effect on Sept. 1. The changes have been criticized for favoring the wealthiest Ohioans, as CityBeat covered in further detail here. Gov. John Kasich approved tax credits that are expected to create more than 591 jobs statewide, with at least 40 of the jobs being created at the Benjamin Steel Company in Cincinnati. Nearly one in five workers at Ohio casinos has quit or been fired. High turnover isn’t unusual in the casino business, but the numbers give a clearer glimpse at the volatility. Piloting a military drone can apparently take quite the psychological toll.

Deters, Husted Criticized for Pursuing Voter Fraud Investigation

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
As county and state officials move to investigate and potentially prosecute voter fraud cases, local groups are pushing back, warning that the investigations could cause a chilling effect among voters.   
by German Lopez 12.20.2012
Posted In: News, Gun Violence at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
joe deters

County Prosecutor Suggests Arming Teachers

Considerable research suggests it wouldn’t help

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters suggested to WCPO TV that teachers “trained to handle a weapon” should be armed. The idea isn’t surprising coming from the Republican county prosecutor. In the onset of tragedies like the one in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., conservatives tend to counter liberal cries for more gun control by saying the United States actually needs more guns. They argue an armed society deters and is more effective in stopping criminals. The problem is the idea contradicts broader scientific research. Following the attack at Tucson, Ariz., that nearly killed former U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords, economist Richard Florida looked state-by-state into what factors correlate with gun violence. He found no correlation between gun violence and mental illness, higher stress levels, neurotic personalities, higher unemployment or inequality. However, his research did find that the places with the most gun control tend to have less gun violence. Researchers at Harvard Injury Control Research Center found another correlation: Whether looking at countries or states, more guns means more homicides. More specifically, men and women in places with more firearms are at a larger risk for gun-related homicide. The University of Pennsylvania tackled the issue from a different angle in 2009: The researchers looked at gun assault cases to see if gun owners were more or less likely to be shot. They found people with guns were 4.46 times more likely to be shot and people who had a chance to resist were 5.45 times more likely to be shot. In 2009, ABC News ran a 20/20 special that used a simulation to gauge whether armed civilians can stop attacks. The simulation placed trained and armed students into a classroom, where they thought they would be getting additional firearms training. In the middle of the lecture, an armed gunman broke into the classroom and began shooting the teacher and students with fake rounds. In all the examples shown, none of the students were able to stop the gunman before taking shots that would have been deadly in a real scenario. Essentially, being trained in the use of a firearm was not enough to prepare someone for the high levels of distorting stress experienced in a real crisis. In their defense, conservatives typically point to a few stories, including one in which a gun-toting Florida senior stopped an armed robbery at an Internet cafe. But are a few feel-good stories enough to trump scientific research? After all, one of the main purposes of the social sciences is to sort through outliers and find real tends with strong evidence. Looking at the facts and research available, perhaps it’s better to focus on mental health services and gun control than it is to arm school teachers and staff, as suggested in CityBeat’s Dec. 19 news commentary. CityBeat could not immediately reach the prosecutor’s office for comments through phone or email. This story will be updated if comments become available.

Up For the Challenge

Janaya Trotter to run against powerful Republican for county prosecutor

3 Comments · Tuesday, March 20, 2012
If Janaya Trotter is successful, she would be both the first woman and the first African-American prosecutor in Hamilton County’s history. Trotter, 31, is a lifelong county resident who graduated from Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase Law College in 2008.   

Prosecutor Bucks Responsibility, Alters Own History

8 Comments · Tuesday, February 8, 2011
We're not sure if Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters pays The Enquirer to handle his public relations, but he should. In a stunning example of Deters spinning his previous statements and the newspaper ignoring its previous article on the topic, The Enquirer reported Feb. 2 that Deters was angry and upset about a contract approved by county commissioners for use of an outside law firm.