CINCINNATI – The head of the police union blasted a prosecutor in the Ray Tensing retrial for attacking a police officer and her testimony in court.
FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils called out assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger on Facebook and suggested Tieger’s remarks about Sgt. Shannon Heine could incite violence against Heine or other officers.
“Asking if this is the good ol’ boy network kicking in, as to suggest Sergeant Shannon Heine and the homicide unit would cover for a police officer rather than to seek the truth, was an offensive and dangerous statement,” Hils wrote, referring to Tieger’s attack on Heine in his closing statement Monday.
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Heine took the stand for the prosecution in the former University of Cincinnati officer's murder trial but ended up supporting the defense's case. When cross-examined by defense attorney Stew Mathews, Heine testified that she thought Tensing’s 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose could be justified. Mathews cited Heine's testimony in his closing argument to try to undermine the prosecution’s case.
Tieger said Heine took it easy on Tensing during her interview and gave him preferential treatment.
“The prosecutor’s statement feeds into radicals who wish other people to believe the system is unfair and unjust,” Hils said in his post.
“I pray that his statements do not inflame more hostility against police. That will put our officers at greater risk, who will already be dealing with an unpredictable community reaction to the outcome,” Hils said.
A second-generation Cincinnati officer, Michael Ammann, also condemned Tieger's attack in a Facebook post.
Hils told WCPO that Tieger had alienated other officers but hard feelings would disappear eventually.
"I think time will heal wounds eventually,” Hils said. “This case was highly charged emotionally. It was very political. There was so much going on with this case. Folks will act out of character.
“I have the upmost respect for (Hamilton County Prosecutor) Joe Deters and the upmost respect for the prosecutors that work with him. I totally disagree with the way closing arguments were handled, or at least that portion."
For complete trial coverage, visit wcpo.com/TensingTrial.