(CINCINNATI) — A police officer indicted for murder “felt his life was in jeopardy” when he fatally shot a man during a traffic stop in Cincinnati earlier this month, his attorney told ABC News.
An arraignment was scheduled Thursday morning for Ray Tensing, who was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
“He’s been crucified since this thing first happened by the whole community without knowing what the evidence is,” said his attorney, Stewart Matthews.
Matthews described Tensing, 25, as a man who only wanted to be a police officer and who sobbed when he learned he was being indicted.
“This is all he’s ever wanted to do,” he said. “His head just sank to the table. We were sitting around and his family — mother, father and aunt — were there with us and it just devastated all of them.”
Tensing worked for the University of Cincinnati Police Department for the last year and a half, said Matthews. He was fired Wednesday when the indictment was announced.
DuBose, 43, was killed during a traffic stop on July 19 near the University of Cincinnati’s campus, authorities said, noting that he was stopped because his car did not have a license plate in the front.
DuBose apparently refused to provide a driver’s license, produced an open alcohol bottle and a struggle ensued, during which Tensing was knocked to the ground and fired one shot into DuBose’s head, according to police.
Two videos were released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office when the indictment was announced Wednesday. The first shows the shooting from Tensing’s body camera. The second video, from the body camera of an arriving officer, shows Tensing lying in the road before he gets up to run toward DuBose’s crashed car.
Neither video shows Tensing being dragged as he has told investigators, according to a police report and his radio call. Matthews said he believed a jury would find that Tensing did not overreact during the traffic stop.
“He felt like his life was in jeopardy and that’s why the shot was fired,” Matthews said.
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