Two University of Cincinnati police officers who arrived on the scene when former officer Ray Tensing shot Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop, will not face charges for corroborating Tensing’s false claims of being dragged by DuBose’s vehicle.
After officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt were placed on paid administrative leave while the university investigated, the Hamilton County grand jury announced on Friday that it will not indict the officers for charges related to DuBose’s death.
DuBose, 43, was shot and killed by Tensing, 25, after Tensing pulled DuBose over for driving without a front license plate on July 19. While Tensing claimed that he opened fire because he feared for his life after his hand was caught on DuBose’s vehicle, and DuBose started accelerating, footage from the body camera Tensing was wearing revealed that his hand was placed on the car door and that DuBose’s vehicle only started moving after Tensing shot DuBose in the head.
In addition to showing that Tensing’s story was false, the body cam also revealed that after arriving on the scene, Kidd and Lindenschmidt were quick to accept Tensing’s narrative, with Kidd going as far as to say that he had witnessed DuBose’s vehicle dragging Tensing down the street.
The same grand jury that chose not to indict Kidd and Lindenschmidt, indicted Tensing for murder in the death of DuBose on Wednesday. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the shooting “totally unwarranted” and said it was the “most asinine act” he had ever seen a police officer make.
However, in the case of Kidd and Lindenschmidt, Deters said that although they initially repeated Tensing’s false account without witnessing it, since then they “have been truthful and honest about what happened and no charges are warranted.”
“These officers were totally cooperative in the investigation and consistent in their statements,” Deters said. “There was some confusion over the way the initial incident report was drafted, but that was not a sworn statement by the officers and merely a short summary of information.”
In addition to initially covering up the DuBose shooting, Kidd was also one of seven officers named in a lawsuit in the death of Kelly Brinson, 45, a mentally ill man who died at Cincinnati’s University hospital in 2010. Brinson was taken to a seclusion room after suffering a psychotic episode, and was shocked with a taser three times and restrained by shackles. As a result, Brinson went into cardiac arrest and died three days later.
Tensing, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter, was involved in another heated traffic stop in May 2014 after he pulled two men over claiming that their bumper was dragging.