Tag Archives: Unarmed

Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report

University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose, after body camera footage contradicted Tensing’s account.

Tensing, 25, pulled over DuBose, 43, for a missing license plate on the front of his car on July 19. Following the shooting, Tensing told his fellow officers that he fired his gun because he feared for his life after his hand got caught on DuBose’s car, and he thought DuBose would run him over.

“I think I’m OK,” Tensing said after the incident, according to his body cam recording. “He was just dragging me. I thought I was going to get run over. I was trying to stop him.”

However, the footage from Tensing’s body cam appears to directly contradict his story. At a news conference on Wednesday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters noted that while DuBose did put his keys in the ignition of the car, it did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

“It is our belief that he was not dragged,” Deters said. “If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very short period of time from when the car starts rolling to when a gun is out and he’s shot in the head.”

CNN noted that while Tensing left the scene with another officer to go to the hospital to get checked out, the footage from the body cam “shows no one rendering aid to DuBose.”

Deters called the incident “totally unwarranted,” and said he believes Tensing’s false report was his way of “making an excuse for a purposeful killing.”

[quote_center]“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make – totally unwarranted,” Deters said. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”[/quote_center]

Deters also noted that while “people want to believe” that DuBose, who was unarmed, “had done something violent towards the officer,” video footage from the scene shows that he did not. “I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost, and I feel sorry for the community, too,” Deters said.

Following the shooting, The Guardian noted that in addition to Tensing giving his account of events to other officers arriving at the scene, two of those officers repeated Tensing’s version, claiming he was dragged by DuBose, and one of the officers “claims to have witnessed it occurring.”

The Associated Press reported that during Tensing’s arraignment on Thursday morning, where he pleaded “not guilty” to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter, “people in the courtroom audience erupted into cheers and clapping” when Tensing’s bond was set at $1 million.

LAPD Officers Caught on Video Killing Unarmed Homeless Man

Controversy has erupted from downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row as police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were caught on tape fatally shooting an unarmed homeless man during a physical altercation on Sunday. The above-linked Reuters video notes that police have yet to release the name of the man who was shot, but bystanders told Los Angeles Times that the man goes by the moniker “Africa.”

According to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith, officers arrived on the scene that morning in response to a 911 report of a robbery. Bystander Dennis Horne said that, when police arrived, Africa was fighting with another individual in the tent in which he had been living at the time. Police then ordered the homeless man out of his tent, and, when he refused, officers deployed a Taser and dragged him out into the street. Africa then began struggling with the officers, throwing punches and kicks. The video below, which contains extremely graphic footage and language, shows what happened next.

At the beginning of the scuffle, six officers appear in the video, with four seen overpowering Africa as two others break away to respond to a female bystander who attempted to pick up a police baton that had been dropped. Africa drops immediately to the ground, and four officers hover over him, pinning him down. Then, a sound consistent with a Taser being fired can be heard in the video.

Moments later, an officer reportedly said, “Drop the gun. Drop the gun.” A single shot rang out, then four more, and Africa lay dead in the street, prompting uproar from angry bystanders who immediately noted that the homeless man was unarmed when police shot him multiple times. An unidentified eyewitness told Los Angeles Times that Africa had reached for an officer’s gun.

Others painted a different story. Bystanders in the above-embedded raw video can be heard immediately protesting the shooting, commenting on the fact that Africa was unarmed. Another witness who goes by the name Booker T. Washington told Los Angeles Times that the initial altercation had actually broken out over the illegal placement of Africa’s tent, rather than a robbery, contradicting police accounts of the incident. He said that police would frequently come by and evict Africa from his tent, which was not allowed to remain there after 6 AM each morning.

Ceola Wadell, who witnessed the incident, said it began when police shook Africa’s tent and deployed a Taser on him, prompting him to become violent. Bystander Ina Murphy said that Africa had been living in the area for several months following his release from a ten-year stay in a mental health facility. In response to the shooting, a spontaneous protest erupted at 9:30 PM on Sunday at the scene of the altercation.

Two of the cops on the scene were reportedly treated for injuries, and the female seen picking up the baton in the above video is expected to be charged with a crime.

Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said that it is unclear based on the video as to why the officers used deadly force. Said Soboroff, “To me, [the theory] that [Africa reached for an officer’s gun] would be the only explanation that something would happen that quickly… It escalated right in front of our eyes.”

LAPD Commander Smith says that the district attorney’s office and an independent inspector general will be investigating the case and noted that two surveillance cameras and at least one police body camera also caught footage of the incident. LAPD investigators are asking eyewitnesses to come forward and provide any additional videos that could help with the investigation. Said Commander Smith, “It’s not an incident taken lightly by any police officer. But we are committed to everyone involved and to the public to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”