Openings statements set in murder retrial of Ohio officer

Jon Howard
June 9, 2017

Tensing "wasn't a racist", said Mathews, adding he will present video of other Tensing traffic stops of black drivers, showing the officer to be professional and polite. Opening statements were set to begin in court on Thursday. Ray Tensing, center, speaks to his defense attorney Stewart Mathews, right, before opening statements in Tensing's retrial Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati.

Tensing has said he feared for his life when Sam DuBose, an unarmed black man, tried to drive away from a 2015 traffic stop.

Nine white jurors and three black jurors have been selected for the murder retrial of a white former police officer in the 2015 death of a black unarmed motorist.

Judge Leslie Ghiz expects the prosecution will call UC police officers Lt. Tim Barge, Philip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, and a civilian witness.

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Mathews agreed that Tensing made a mistake by reaching into the auto.

But Prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid (de-GRAF'-in-reed) said evidence including body camera video will show Tensing wasn't trapped. But he asserted that DuBose used his left arm to pin Tensing's left arm against the car's windowsill and steering wheel. A mistrial was declared last November in the first trial after jurors could not agree on a verdict.

Mathews said DuBose "wouldn't have ended up shot" if he had complied with Tensing's orders and hadn't attempted to flee.

A jury of 12 people - seven white females, two white males, two black females and one black male - will hear the case at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

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