Sam DuBose's sister says Ray Tensing 'is going to suffer'

CINCINNATI -- Sam DuBose's sister blasted Ray Tensing as a "racist bigot" and said she wanted to see him suffer.

"I'm going to be on Ray Tensing's back for the rest of his life," she said Tuesday. "He is going to suffer."

Terina Allen was visibly upset over Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters' decision to abandon the murder case against Tensing. She teared up talking about her brother. She was fiery over a justice system she felt failed him and other black Americans.

At a news conference, Deters said he didn't think he could win a conviction after two mistrials.

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Allen and others saw more.

"If you're black in the United States of America, and the likelihood is a cop won't get indicted, they're just not going to bother with this anymore," she said. "That's what they're pretty much saying."

Deters said his opinion of the case hasn't changed but that he has "an ethical duty not to try him again if I don't think we could be successful at trial." He met with DuBose family members and told them of his decision before announcing it publicly, he said.

"They reacted the way I would have reacted if (Sam DuBose) had been my brother," Deters said.

Watch the prosecutor's news conference below:

 

The announcement came a day before the two-year anniversary of DuBose's death. Tensing, at the time a police officer for the University of Cincinnati, shot DuBose in the head during a traffic stop in the city's Mount Auburn neighborhood. Tensing claimed DuBose tried to drive off from the stop, and that he feared for life because his arm was caught in the car.

Terina Allen with her brother, Sam DuBose (Photo provided)

The trials centered on whether Tensing truly was in danger and if his actions were appropriate.

Tensing is white, while DuBose was black. Allen previously criticized Judge Leslie Ghiz for preventing jurors at Tensing's second trial from hearing about a Confederate flag T-shirt he wore under his uniform the day he shot DuBose.

Ghiz also wouldn't let prosecutors talk about Tensing's pattern of stopping more black drivers than white.

RELATED: Jurors talked about T-shirt anyway, defense attorney says

Outside the prosecutor's office Tuesday, Allen called Tensing "an idiot" and promised to send flyers and mail anywhere Tensing tried to work in the future.

"And if they decide they want to just hire him, ain't nothing we can do about that," she said. "But I'm going to make sure every community that he ever lives in knows that he's nothing but a racist bigot who pulled a gun and shot a man in the head because he didn't comply with him."

Deters said the Justice Department has asked to review the case for potential civil rights violations, and his office has turned over all his case files to the U.S. Attorney's office. But he also cautioned the federal government works slowly.

Stew Mathews, Tensing's defense attorney, said his client was "relieved" Deters dropped the case, "but he's very concerned that it's been referred to the Department of Justice."

"I don't believe there's any bit of evidence that would substantiate a federal civil rights violation," Mathews said.

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.

All had called for a third trial.

"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.”

Now they're calling for three police officers -- all of whom played critical roles in Tensing's two trials -- to be fired.

That includes UC officers Philip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt. At the shooting scene, Kidd and officer-in-training Lindenschmidt backed up Tensing's account of the shooting -- Kidd agreeing that Tensing was dragged and Lindenschmidt telling a sergeant that Tensing was stuck in DuBose's vehicle.

But both officers said, in court and under oath, that they didn't see DuBose's car drag Tensing, as Tensing claimed.

Robin Engel, UC's Vice President for Safety and Reform, said three independent investigating agencies determined Kidd and Lindenschmidt did not change their statements, engage in criminal behavior or violate UCPD policy.

The family and organizations also want the city of Cincinnati to fire Sgt. Shannon Heine. She was called as a prosecution witness at Tensing's second trial -- but then stunned prosecutors when she said Tensing’s shooting of DuBose could be justified.

"Challenge all police officers, all judges, all prosecutors everywhere to say 'Enough is enough' across this country," said Donyetta Bailey, president of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati. "Stand up for what you know is not right."

For complete trial coverage, visit wcpo.com/TensingTrial.

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