CINCINNATI -- After three days of questioning, the judge in Ray Tensing's retrial seated a jury Wednesday -- one that's slightly more diverse than the jury that served in Tensing's first trial last fall.
The jury is made up of seven white women, two white men, one black man and two black women. Two white men, one white woman and one black woman are alternates.
In Tensing's first trial, the jury was made up of two black women, four white women and six white men. Prosecutor Joe Deters said two black men were chosen to sit on the jury, but said they didn't want to take part in the trial.
“They just said they didn’t want to do it,” Deters said last fall. “It was going to cause too much trouble in their lives. And they left.”
Race has been a theme throughout jury selection. Potential jurors were asked about race, police and Black Lives Matter on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Several jurors said they already formed opinions about Tensing's guilt or innocence, but those jurors were dismissed.
Tensing, a white man and former University of Cincinnati officer, shot and killed Samuel DuBose, a black man, during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015. The incident happened as many protest shootings involving officers and black men and women.
According to United States Census data from 2016, the racial makeup of Hamilton County is about 68 percent white and 26 percent black. The jury, not including alternates, is 25 percent black. The jury pool contained only Hamilton County residents.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s in the jury box:
- Juror 72: She is a white woman who said she watched “pieces” of the body camera video. She also said if you follow an officer’s orders and comply, you are less likely to get shot, no matter what race.
- Juror 30: He is a white man who said watching the body camera video was difficult, and he watched it “maybe three times.”
- Juror 41: She is a black woman who said she didn’t understand a question about an automobile being used as a weapon. She also didn’t answer questions about Black Lives Matter. Defense attorney Stew Mathews said many people "skipped (that) entire page” of the questionnaire.
- Juror 7: He is a white man who did not fill out a lot of information on his questionnaire. He said he didn’t pay much attention to the first trial.
- Juror 10: She is a white woman who wrote in her juror questionnaire that she thinks the criminal justice system in America isn’t fair. She also said the shooting of DuBose didn’t seem justified, but realized there was more involved in making that judgment than what she saw.
- Juror 77: She is a white woman who said she watched the body camera video one time all the way through. She said she isn’t sure if the shooting was justified or not.
- Juror 14: She is a white woman who said University of Cincinnati officers are needed to protect students on campus. She said she watched the body camera video, but doesn’t have an opinion and doesn’t know all the facts.
- Juror 59: She is a white woman who wrote in her questionnaire she has no opinion of guilt or innocence in this case. She also wrote that people “must be complaint to the law to prevent altercations.”
- Juror 62: He is a black man and said he watched the body camera video and heard news reports about the case, but he has not discussed the trial.
- Juror 70: She is a white woman who said she thinks there is a problem with unarmed African Americans getting shot by police. She also said she has an open mind.
- Juror 23: She is a white woman who said she had no prior knowledge of this case other than the occasional headline. She said she knows a detective in this case.
- Juror 25: She is a black woman who said video experts would help her decipher the body camera video, and she hasn’t formed any opinions about this case.
The alternates in this case are:
- Juror 90: A white woman
- Juror 87: A white man
- Juror 78: A white man
- Juror 84: A black woman
NOTE: WCPO does not publish juror names or images that show jurors' identities without the permission of those jurors. However, WCPO believes it is important for journalists to be able to contact jurors and talk to them about what happened during the trial and deliberations -- if jurors are willing to talk.
Opening statements are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
For complete trial coverage, visit wcpo.com/TensingTrial.