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Ray Tensing trial recap: Everything you need to know from Day 2

Tensing Day 2 recap: Everything you need to know
Posted at 3:33 PM, Nov 02, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Wednesday was the first time several jurors saw the full, unedited body camera video of the traffic stop shooting that killed Sam DuBose in July 2015.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters released the footage 10 days after the fatal shooting; a grand jury indicted now-former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing on a murder charge the same day. Both sides of the court agree the video is the central piece of evidence in the case.

Jurors also heard from the first five witnesses to be called to testify in the trial. Almost 100 people were subpoenaed in all.

Here are the major points of Wednesday's trial proceedings:

Jury watches body camera video

During jury selection, some potential jurors said they'd never seen Tensing's body camera footage from July 19, 2015. On Wednesday, they watched it in full and saw DuBose die. At least one juror was visibly upset while watching the video and needed to look away, according to our reporter in the courtroom.

WATCH the body camera video for yourself here.

UC lieutenant explained, in brief, body camera procedure

Lt. Tim Barge, who was a UC Police Department sergeant at the time of the shooting, described proper body camera procedure for UCPD officers. He said all body cameras worn by UCPD officers record every 30 seconds when in default "buffer mode." He testified that Tensing followed procedure and "double-tapped" his body camera to begin recording when he initiated the traffic stop. Body camera footage from responding officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt was also shown.

WARNING: The testimony below includes some graphic video about 13 minutes in.

 

Tensing reacted in court while watching his body camera video

Tensing watched the uncut body camera footage along with the jurors Wednesday. He shifted in his seat, wiped his face and looked down throughout, visibly upset by the footage.

Backup officers say they did not see Tensing being dragged

In court on Wednesday, Lindenschmidt said he only saw Tensing "come off car...fall on rear end and use his arms to brace (for fall)." Kidd, who was training newly-hired Lindenschmidt on July 19, 2015, also said Wednesday he did not see Tensing being dragged.

The first incident report filed by UCPD officer Eric Weibel says "Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda Accord drag officer Tensing, and that he witnessed officer Tensing fire a single shot." You can read the report here. In his body camera video, Kidd seems to confirm that he saw Tensing being dragged, but UCPD spokeswoman Michele Ralston said Kidd was saying that he saw Tensing move, not necessarily that he was dragged. "I'm OK. He was just dragging me," Tensing said in the video. "Yeah, I saw that," Kidd replied. Later in the video, Kidd tells the responding officer that he and Lindenschmidt both saw the dragging. "Lindenschmidt and I saw it," Kidd said. "Did you see him being dragged?" Weibel asked. Kidd immediately answers, "Yes." You can watch those videos here.

In front of the grand jury, one week after the shooting, Kidd and Lindenschmidt both said they didn't see Tensing being dragged. Ralston said the report filed by Weibel was a summarization of Kidd and Lindenschmidt's statements, and that the officers didn't mean to admit to seeing Tensing dragged, rather that they saw him move with the car.

Watch Kidd's testimony and body camera footage below:

 

Both backup officers said they heard squeal of tires, then shooting

The order of tires squealing and the gunshot is significant because it could indicate the chain of events that led up to Tensing firing his weapon and killing DuBose. On Tuesday, Deters already addressed the fact that, according to the coroner, DuBose's body weight shifted when he collapsed and likely caused the car to move forward. Defense attorney Stew Mathews argued Tensing was caught in the door and shot DuBose when he tried to speed away.

Kidd said he saw Tensing "lunging" into DuBose's car, then the sound of tires squealing, then a single gunshot. Lindenschmidt testified repeatedly that he heard the tires and gunshot in the same order.

Watch Lindenschmidt's testimony and body camera footage below:

 

Witness to shooting testifies

Alicia Napier, 26, testified as a witness to the fatal shooting. Napier lives in Mount Auburn and was in her car on Rice Street when Tensing pulled DuBose over. She heard the gunshot from her car.

Napier said she had her two children in the car with her at the time of the shooting and was slightly distracted, but she initially thought Tensing was the one who was shot because he fell back, away from the car, at the sound of the gunshot. She began to cry when she described what she saw.

When Mathews pointed out differences in Napier's initial police statement and her testimony, she said "my mind was jumbled everywhere," she said. "I wanted to protect my kids." She said watching the body camera video on YouTube weeks later clarified what she saw.

Watch Napier's testimony below:

 

DuBose's fiancée took the stand

DeShonda Reid was the final witness on the stand Wednesday. She wasn't present at the scene of the shooting, but the car DuBose drove that day was hers.

Reid said she knew that, at times, DuBose's license was suspended. He drove her car regularly, she said. She also said she did not know whose marijuana was in her car.

When Mathews mentioned DuBose's "death," Reid responded with "his murder."

Watch Reid's testimony below:

 

Judge is sticking to daily schedule; ahead of schedule on trial length

Wednesday's proceedings didn't go past 1 p.m., as Shanahan promised early on. The initial ballpark date for witness testimony to begin was Nov. 7; the trial is ahead of that schedule by four days.

For all our Tensing trial coverage and video, go to wcpo.com/TensingTrial.