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City officials after second Tensing mistrial: Cincinnati is safe, Downtown still open

Mayor Cranley: 'We will move forward'
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 23:58:53-04

CINCINNATI -- Mayor John Cranley expressed sorrow to the DuBose family Friday after a second mistrial, and he assured the public that the city would remain safe through the weekend.

Ray Tensing’s retrial ended in a hung jury Friday for the second time after the jury deliberated for five days.

“As a city we will make sure that people who are feeling a variety of emotions -- and, in my opinion, justifiably so -- have a right to express themselves peacefully. We have every expectation that this will be the case,” Cranley said.

There have been rumors that Cincinnati businesses will close, Cranley said, but he said Downtown and Over-the-Rhine will remain open Friday and through the weekend.

"The weather isn't great, but there's lots of people out, the restaurants are packed," Cranley said. "We encourage people to continue to support the city."

He said the situation brings an opportunity for the city to come together.

“Just because we may not like the way things happened in this case today doesn’t mean that Cincinnati is not going to move forward,” Cranley said. “We will move forward.”

Tensing's attorney, Stew Mathews, said Tensing was disappointed in the result. 

"He would like some resolution," Mathews said. "We're going to figure it out here as we go."

RELATED: DuBose family wants testifying cop investigated

City Manager Harry Black said he was “absolutely disappointed” with the outcome of the trial.

He echoed the mayor’s sentiment, saying city officials will do everything they can to support and allow people to express themselves.

“Our police department and our fire department have tremendous experience in terms of engaging and partnering with all different types of groups who express themselves in various ways,” Black said. “We expect that track record to continue this weekend and into the future.”

Chief Eliot Isaac said the police department will ensure Downtown areas are safe.

“In the upcoming days, my primary focus is ensuring that everyone is safe ... as they respond and react to today’s outcome.”

Other city leaders weighed in on the hung jury; councilmember Yvette Simpson said the result is a “justice system issue.”

"We have to change it. From prosecutors to judges to the rules that make the standards that have now confused two juries. It’s -- it’s crazy to me,” Simpson said. “A man was killed ... the evidence that was presented ... it’s tough.”

 

Simpson said she believes the case was clear.

“I saw the first trial. I’ve been following the second one. But, a jury gets to decide this, and it sounds like the jury was divided," she said. "What I want to know is were they divided on guilt or innocence or on murder or manslaughter.”

A grand jury indicted Tensing in 2015 on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

The prosecution filed a motion to add a lesser charge of reckless homicide in Tensing’s retrial. Judge Leslie Ghiz rejected this request.

Simpson said Hamilton Prosecutor Joe Deters should retry Tensing if he believes he can make a case.

“In any other case, if there was a question about justice being served, we’d go all the way. So why make an exception here,” Simpson said.

MORE: Is Ray Tensing off the hook? What happens now?

Cincinnati’s NAACP branch released a statement saying the outcome was “unacceptable.”

“We will continue to protest and stand alongside the Dubose family, but we will also have a call to action to all who want effective change in our broken criminal justice system. The Cincinnati NAACP will be joining with other groups in the community to demand systemic and real change,” part of the statement read.

In a statement, University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto expressed condolences to the DuBose family.

“We shall press forward with the voluntary police reforms we initiated with the help of our Community Advisory Council. Our focus remains on learning from the past and redoubling our efforts to build a brighter tomorrow,” the statement read.

Others used the outcome as an opportunity to encourage peace and love.

Pastor Ennis Tate challenged everyone to come together to talk about race relations in the city.

“I would also challenge every race to come together with their counterparts,” Tate said. “If you are caucasian, gather with your black friends, if you are African American, gather with your white friends, if you are interacial, gather with your family members and begin to talk about healing our city.”

For complete coverage on the Tensing trial, go to wcpo.com/tensingtrial