CINCINNATI -- The retrial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing is scheduled to continue Monday with another group of encore appearances.
Cincinnati Police Department crime scene investigator Officer Jimmy Pham, forensic video analyst Grant Fredericks and use of force expert Officer Scott Haug all testified in Tensing's first trial for the death of Sam DuBose, a black motorist whom Tensing shot during a traffic stop.
Tensing claimed that he was dragged by DuBose, who was attempting to drive away from the encounter, and had fired because he feared for his own life. The prosecution argues Tensing shot DuBose before the car was in motion and thus, he was never dragged. Tensing is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter.
One of the most controversial pieces of evidence in the first trial -- a T-shirt with a Confederate flag design that Tensing had worn under his uniform on the day of the shooting -- was displayed during Officer Pham's initial testimony, prompting DuBose's mother to label Tensing "a wicked, evil man." She wasn't the only one to chime in.
I think Confederate Flags are offensive no matter what. And if you are sworn to protect our community, u should not be wearing one - period.
— P.G. Sittenfeld (@PGSittenfeld) November 4, 2016
Tensing claimed the shirt was no more than a souvenir from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The T-shirt proved so inflammatory that Judge Leslie Ghiz ruled it "far too prejudicial" to be presented as evidence in the retrial. Pham will likely be questioned again about pictures that were taken of Tensing and his uniform directly after DuBose's death, omitting any mention of the shirt.
Fredericks, a contract instructor at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, presented a frame-by-frame analysis of Tensing's body camera footage in the first trial and argued that it showed Tensing had not been dragged by DuBose's car as he claimed. This matches the Friday testimony of Alicia Napier, an eyewitness who said DuBose's car did not begin to move until after Tensing had shot him.
"There was no way he was attached to the car," Napier said during her Friday cross-examination. "There was none. He wasn't touching the car at all."
Cincinnati Police Department Sgt. Shannon Heine cast some doubt on Napier's testimony later Friday, saying that she noted "some inconsistencies" between Napier's statement and the body camera footage she had viewed. She added that these inconsistencies were not "heavily of note" or grounds to discount her entire testimony.
Finally, Officer Haug will be asked to compare Tensing's actions with use of force protocol and best practices. In the first trial, he said Tensing should never have reached into DuBose's car, characterized his actions as irresponsible and "unjustified" and backed Fredericks' assertion that Tensing had not been dragged.
For complete trial coverage, visit wcpo.com/TensingTrial.