Ex-Cop in DuBose Shooting Case Weeps in Court

Ray Tensing takes the stand on the fifth day of witness testimony in his trial. Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, Pool

Former University of Cincinnati police officer, Ray Tensing, began to sob Tuesday morning as he described his recollection of the events leading up to the death of of Black motorist Samuel DuBose.

Tensing, 26, whose face was blush red most of the morning, answered a series of questions from his defense attorney, Stew Matthews, inside of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. He took deep sighs between several explanations, but managed to keep his composure as he described what took place during the traffic stop that resulted in the alleged murder of DuBose.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to run me over and he’s going to kill me,’ ” Tensing explained. “He was mashing the accelerator. I could feel his car turning left into me. I’m falling lower and lower.”

Tensing added that upon pulling DuBose, 43, over for not having a front license plate, which is a violation of Ohio law, he rummaged through some papers in his glove box and was able to reveal the [front] license plate.

“The way that he was acting, so nervous, I felt like he wanted to get me away from him,” Tensing said. “Normal people just don’t act that way. Just how nervous he was acting, set off alarm bells that something wasn’t right here.”

Tensing then told the defense that since he could not immediately find DuBose’s records in the system, he asked him to take his seatbelt off. That’s when Tensing said he “reached in and opened the driver’s door.”

“My plan was to detain him,” he explained. “As I opened the driver’s side door he immediately reached up with his left hand and pulled the door back shut, and simultaneously with his right hand the keys were back in the ignition.”

He wept when he described how his left arm was caught inside the car as DuBose purportedly “slammed the car in drive and mashed the accelerator.”

Tensing proceeded to recall drawing his weapon – while falling and unbalanced – with his right hand and firing at DuBose’s head. He told the defense how he didn’t initially feel injured due to his adrenaline, and that he noticed DuBose had been shot once he approached the site where the vehicle had crashed.

Earlier in the day, the defense called a use-of-force expert to the stand. The expert, James Scanlon, testified that Tensing’s actions were “justified, reasonable and consistent with all police training.” However, prosecutors argued Scanlon is not a video expert.