CINCINNATI -- Cleshawn DuBose said her brother was a kind-hearted person.
“Sam, he was a good person,” she said. “He was a great brother. He took me out to go get my first car. He was protective.
“He was … I hate saying ‘He was.’”
For these reasons and for those that she says are “much bigger than Sam,” Cleshawn and her family are fighting for justice for her brother, Sam DuBose, who was shot and killed by former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing in a July 2015 traffic stop.
University of Cincinnati Interim President Beverly Davenport invites the campus and city community to join her at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Room 114 of the UC College of Law to reflect on the outcomes of the trial and renew our commitment to each other.
Now, just days after Judge Megan Shanahan declared a mistrial in Tensing’s murder trial, family members said they will fight even harder for a retrial.
The jury said it couldn't reach a verdict Saturday despite more than 25 hours of deliberations.
Of the 12 jurors, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said four thought Tensing was guilty of murder, and eight thought he was guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Deters will decide whether he will retry the case by Nov. 28.
Moving forward, Deters could retry Tensing on both charges, he could try Tensing on only the lesser charge or seek different charges, or he could drop the case entirely.
Cleshawn DuBose said while she feels the prosecution proved Tensing guilty of murder, she thinks the jury struggled to reach a verdict because Tensing was a police officer.
“I don’t think it was -- was it murder or wasn’t it murder… I think the difficulty came in with, ‘Well he’s a cop,’” she said. “I think they had a problem with that, and went, ‘Oh, murder’s so harsh,’ but it is what it is, and you have to call it what it is.”
Tensing stuck to his story when he testified Nov. 8, insisting he was being dragged by DuBose's car. He said he shot him because he feared for his life.
DuBose’s older sister, Terina Allen, said Tensing’s story is a lie.
“Sam would have never hurt that officer,” Allen said. “I think they’re killing him a little bit every day when Tensing perpetuates that lie.
“It wasn’t enough for him to murder Sam, but he is literally killing his reputation by trying to say that he was the one with his life being threatened.”
Despite some criticism of Tensing’s charges, Deters said he would not file for reckless homicide or negligent homicide in place of murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Allen said she does not want lesser charges -- she wants a jury to declare Tensing guilty of murder.
“I have faith in people… I think you can get 12 people who would say, ‘This is murder.’ I just don’t think we had them on that jury,” Allen said.
Cleshawn DuBose agreed she does not want the charges against Tensing to be lessened.
“We know that there’s injustice if there’s not a guilty (verdict),” Cleshawn DuBose said. “But to say, ‘Hey let’s put a negligent homicide or a lesser charge to the case,’ that’s saying we can compromise on Sam, and we’re not compromising on Sam.”
Allen said the races of the jury, which was made up of two black women, four white women and six white men, was never significant to her. She said she believes “reasonable human beings can see this case,” regardless of their race.
“I will get to watch Tensing walk out of that courtroom in handcuffs,” Allen said. “That’s going to happen. I believe that with every fiber in my being because I believe there are decent human beings… I think there are all colors, all races who say, ‘When wrong is wrong, it’s wrong, and you have to call it out.’
"And that’s all we’re asking for.”
Although she was disappointed in the mistrial, Allen said she is grateful for the members of the jury who believed Tensing was guilty.
“Every day I kept saying, ‘There’s somebody in there fighting for Sam.’ And there was,” Alllen said.
Since the case has gained national attention, Allen said some have been quick to be critical of her late brother.
“People want to talk about how many children someone has, or whether or not you smoke marijuana, or whether or not you drive without a license,” Allen said. “If you were ever stuck in any kind of situation, Sam would be the one you would want in your corner.
“I don’t care about any of that other stuff. He is a good man, and so I’m never going to stop fighting for Sam.”
The DuBose family hasn’t been alone in its pursuit for justice.
“The whole family is fighting,” Allen said. “Sam’s children are fighting, we have so many people fighting for justice here. The Cincinnati community is fighting. They have come out in droves, and we are so thankful for that.”
WCPO- 9 On Your Side reached out to the Tensing family about their thoughts and feelings on the trial. They declined to speak with us.
Web Editor Greg Noble contributed to this report.
Click here for complete coverage of the Ray Tensing murder trial.