State of Ohio vs. Officer Raymond Tensing

Aug 22, 2017

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From CNN: What should have been a minor traffic stop led to the death of an unarmed Ohio father of 13.

On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing pulled over 43-year-old Sam Dubose because of an allegedly missing front license plate.

Tensing fatally shot Dubose after a tussle that was captured on the officer’s body camera. He was fired from his job, arrested and indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. He was released from custody after posting a tenth of his $1 million bond.

After making the July 19 stop, Tensing asked DuBose for his license, which was suspended. When DuBose couldn’t find it, Tensing grew frustrated and asked the motorist to undo his seat belt.

Tensing, a 26-year-old officer with five years’ experience, tried to open the Honda Accord’s door. But DuBose held it shut. After that, Tensing reached into the car-- and at that moment, his body camera shook out of focus.

“Shot fired! Shot fired!” someone yelled moments later.

DuBose’s car rolled for about a block before crashing. He later died.

The death of DuBose, who was black, happened in the same yearlong period that saw several controversial officer-involved shootings -- including those of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.

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Raymond Tensing was tried twice for the shooting death of Sam DuBose. Each trial ended with a hung jury, with each jury unable to reach an agreement that Tensing’s actions were other than self-defense. In the first trial, the prosecution used a video expert to dissect the video footage frame by frame. This expert concluded, based solely upon the video, that Tensing had not been in danger at the time he fired the fatal shot. The Defense countered that Tensing had been in danger of being struck or run over by the fleeing vehicle. In the second trial, the prosecution again used the same video expert, who again limited his analysis solely to the frames of the video. However, in the second trial the Defense also hired a consultant, with no previous experience in video analysis, who, although he provided no rational or scientific basis for his conclusion, opined that Tensing had been in danger and that the vehicle had moved 9 feet at the time of the shot.

PSI’s analysis did not pick or choose which evidence on which to focus, but used all the available evidence for our analysis, as detailed in the case study below.

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Craig Fries

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Craig Fries is the Founder and President of Precision Simulations, Inc., the foremost forensic analysis and animation firm in the US. In this role he has created or directed over 1,000 3D forensic animations for use in criminal and civil litigation and has maintained a 100% record of non-exclusion at trial. As a pioneer in the field of forensic laser scanning, Craig created the first 3D animation based upon laser scan data ever admitted at trial in the US, and has been at the forefront of the use of the technology in homicide and accident investigation since.


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