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Police officer who killed unarmed black man Sam DuBose cleared of murder

26 June 2017

The mistrial was declared after a jury deliberated for more than 31 hours on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter against the former University of Cincinnati officer who shot unarmed motorist Sam DuBose during a July 2015 traffic stop.

But then later Friday, jurors returned to say they were still unable to find consensus, after almost 31 hours of deliberations.

"We have given this extensive deliberation with opportunity for both sides to express their positions". One, Charles Campbell, said, "This is a miscarriage of justice, this is unacceptable [.] We can not allow this in our city".

Tensing testified he shot DuBose because he feared for his life after his left arm became trapped inside DuBose's moving vehicle on July 19, 2015.

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Ray Tensing reacts as Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz declares a mistrial in the retrial of Tensing Friday, June 23, 2017, in Cincinnati. Many, but not all, said they had previously seen at least parts of the body camera video from the incident. The graphic footage shows the two had a brief struggle before Tensing fired his gun. His legal team argued that his arm appears to be inside DuBose's auto as DuBose starts to drive away. "Tensing pulled his weapon and fired to avoid, he said, being dragged under DuBose's vehicle", WVXU reported. Tensing testified he feared he was going to be killed as DuBose drove away while Tensing's arm was pinned in his vehicle. Prosecutors said repeatedly the evidence contradicted Tensing's story.

Prosecutors and the defense agree that Officer Ray Tensing shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.

At the time, Hamilton county prosecutor Joe Deters said: "This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make-totally unwarranted". "I didn't shoot to kill him".

Alicia Napier, a civilian witness also testified that she was "100 percent sure" that the auto moved after Tensing shot, according to the AP.

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Taylor said this deadlocked jury, combined with the acquittal of police officers in Milwaukee and Minneapolis in similar cases this week, demonstrates institutional racism in the justice system.

Last Thursday, the judge rejected the prosecution's request to allow jurors to consider a lesser charge of reckless homicide.

"It is the prosecutor's job, not this court's job, to include reckless homicide", Ghiz said, according to the Associated Press. In that trial, four jurors thought he was guilty of murder, four others thought he was guilty of voluntary manslaughter, and the remaining four thought he was not guilty. Two were acquitted and one trial ended in deadlock.

On Friday, the DuBose family demanded yet another retrial and called on the community to join them in "peaceful protest of this unjust result". The family commends the prosecutors for their strong presentation in this case but we are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose.

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It's the latest racially charged police shooting case to show the reluctance of USA jurors to convict officers.