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WATCH: Body cam video released in Sam DuBose shooting

Video shows UC officer shoot driver point-blank
Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 29, 2015
and last updated 2018-11-16 10:38:21-05

WARNING: The video above may be too graphic for some viewers. Watch with discretion. The shooting takes place at 1:55.

CINCINNATI - UC police officer Ray Tensing's body camera video shows that he committed "without question, a murder" when he shot and killed an unarmed black motorist at a traffic stop, prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday.

Deters said the video refutes Tensing's claim that 43-year-old Sam DuBose pulled away from the stop and dragged Tensing with his car July 19 in Mount Auburn. Instead, it shows Tensing reaching through the driver's window and shooting DuBose - point-blank - in the head.

The shocking video shows Tensing standing outside the driver's door with DuBose at the wheel. The two men talk calmly and politely for about one minute and 50 seconds. But in the next five seconds, the encounter turns deadly.

WATCH Jason Law's report here and read dialogue between Tensing and DuBose below:

Tensing repeatedy asks DuBose to produce a driver's license. DuBose says he has a license but he doesn't have it with him, and he apologizes.

"I just don't. I'm sorry. I'm just going to go in my house," DuBose says, with his car facing south on Rice Street in Mount Auburn.

"OK. Where do you stay at? Down here?" Tensing asks.

DuBose: "Right around the corner."

Tensing: "OK, until I can figure out if you have a license or not, go ahead and take your seat belt off for me."

Tensing pulls the door latch and opens the door a few inches.

DuBose pulls it closed with his left hand and uses his right hand to reach for the car key in the ignition.

 "I didn't even do nothing," DuBose says.

"Go ahead and take your seat belt off," Tensing says again.

DuBose turns the key to start the car and revs the engine, but the car doesn't move.

Tensing reaches in the window with his left hand and appears to grab DuBose's shoulder strap. He pulls his gun with this right hand,  shouts, "Stop! Stop!"  and shoots DuBose.

The car jumps forward and rolls down the street about 100 yards until it runs off the road and stops - engine still running.

Tensing and another officer run after the car. The other officer yells to Tensing, "Did you hit him?"

Tensing yells back, "I don't know. I might have."

With guns drawn, the two officers reach the car together and find DuBose slumped back in the driver's seat.

Tensing reaches through the window with his left hand and turns the key to stop the engine.

Out of breath, Tensing says: "I thought he was going to run me over."

Showing the video publicly for the first time, Deters called it an "asinine, senseless shooting" and announced that a grand jury had indicted Tensing for murder and involuntary manslaughter. Tensing turned himself in and UC fired him after the indictment.

RELATED: Murder conviction is likely, attorneys say.

DuBose did "nothing violent" toward Tensing, Deters said, adding that the video shows Tensing falling because he had just shot DuBose.

"I think he (Tensing) lost his temper because Mr. DuBose would not get out of his car. He wasn't dragged. When you see it, you will not believe how quickly he pulled his gun and shot him in the head," Deters said at a 1 p.m. news conference.

"He was simply, slowly rolling away. That's it," Deters said.

"It was senseless. It didn't have to happen," Deters said, adding that Tensing should have never stopped DuBose for not having a front license plate.

"It was a chicken-crap stop," Deters said.

READ the complete dialogue between Tensing and DuBose during the traffic stop.

According to the police incident report, Tensing said DuBose was dragging him with his car and Tensing feared he would be run over when he fired a single shot that killed DuBose. On the body cam video, you can hear Tensing tell other officers about a dozen times that DuBose was dragging him. Here's a sampling:

Tensing: “I thought he was going to run me over.”

Other officer: “You OK?”

Tensing: "I’m good.”

Later, Tensing speaks to the dispatcher:

“Thirty-three, I’m not injured. I almost got ran over by the car. He took off on me. I discharged one round. Struck the male in the head.”

More Tensing on the video:

 “I just got tangled in the car. I thought I was going to get run over.”

"He just took off on me, man. I thought he was going to run me over.”

 “I think I’m OK. He was just dragging me. I thought I was going to get ran over. I was trying to stop him.”

“Ugh, I thought he was going to run me over. He was dragging me…Yeah, he took off on me. My hand was caught inside.”

“God, he was dragging me man … I’m good. I just got my hand and my arm caught inside.”

 “I think I’m good [no injuries]. I missed his tires, luckily. I was just getting [dragged] by him.”

When other UC officers, Cincinnati police and EMT arrived, Tensing repeated his claims over and over. Tensing complained of pain in his left arm and knee and a fellow officer drove him to the UC Medical Center to be examined.

At his news conference, Deters said he feels sorry for DuBose's family and he showed them the video first. WCPO's Ally Kraemer reported that DuBose's family arrived at the prosecutor's office at noon and and left shortly before the news conference.

"I trust God, and I knew it was going to be all right," Andrea DuBose said after watching her son's death on video. "I just thank God that everything is being revealed."

"We knew the video was going to vindicate our brother," said Terina DuBose Allen, DuBose's sister. "He didn't have a gun. He didn't do anything to that officer. No one deserves this. So I'm angry. But I'm as pleased as I can be that we're actually going to get some kind of justice for Sam."

Family and supporters had disputed the police report and had demanded to see Tensing's video. WCPO and other media outlets sued Deters to release the video, but Deters had refused, saying the video could taint the ongoing investigation.

Dreading what it might show, the community had braced itself for the video's release, especially after statements by two men who had seen it.

"It's not good, " Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell declared Monday. On Tuesday, Tensing's attorney, Stew Mathews, said he expected an indictment based on his viewing

All along, Deters said he would release the video after the grand jury saw it and decided whether or not to indict Tensing.

Deters said Wednesday that the body camera video made all the difference in getting the indictment.