CINCINNATI -- Two groups with opposing objectives planned separate rallies in Cincinnati for Saturday and Monday.
On Saturday, Black Lives Matter Cincinnati and the Peaslee Neighborhood Center are holding a rally with speakers on Fountain Square starting at 5 p.m. The Facebook event shows almost 200 people planning to attend as of Friday morning. The event "demand(s) jail time for killer cops" and "we won't sit by as the city lets another killer cop walk free!"
On Monday, the group "Support Ray Tensing" will meet for a prayer walk and vigil starting 6 p.m. at Sawyer Point. Attendees will walk over the Purple People Bridge, according to the event's Facebook page. The Tensing event page also says T-shirts will be available for sale "to support Tensing."
On Tuesday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced he would not try Tensing for murder and voluntary manslaughter a third time. Tensing was tried twice on both charges in Hamilton County; both trials ended with hung juries.
Deters said the decision was the most difficult in his career.
"Now after two trials and probably $1 million, the best lawyers I could come up with were unsuccessful ... I have come to a conclusion that we can not win a conviction in this case on these facts," Deters said.
"I have an ethical duty -- if we believe we can not be successful at trial, we have that duty not to proceed."
"I'm going to be on Ray Tensing's back for the rest of his life," Terina Allen said. "He is going to suffer."
A statement Tuesday from the DuBose family and five organizations called Deters' decision a "miscarriage of justice." The groups included the local chapter of the NAACP, the Black Lawyers Association of Greater Cincinnati, the Greater Cincinnati chapter of the National Action Network, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and the Cincinnati Black United Front.
"It's fundamental fairness that everyone should be treated with equality and justice," said Joe Mallory, local NAACP first vice president. "We don’t see it in Hamilton County, we don’t see it in Ohio.”
The first group to openly organize in defense of Tensing emerged at the end of the second trial. Support Ray Tensing was started by a Hamilton woman, Lacy Robinson. Robinson began by creating a Change.org petition asking Deters to drop the case. After Deters' announcement, the petition was converted to request no civil rights charges brought against Tensing by the Dept. of Justice. The petition has nearly 6,000 signatures.
"Please sign in order to stand up for our law enforcement officers & for JUSTICE! All lives matter," the petition says. "This was not about race. The judicial system has worked, now THREE times in this case, as the decision was made to not retry the innocent police officer."
Support Ray Tensing hasn't hosted any public rallies or demonstrations yet; Black Lives Matter and Countdown to Coalition have held various rallies since the second trial's conclusion. All rallies and marches have been peaceful with no arrests.