Cincinnati police officer not dragged before shooting driver, video expert says

By Andrew V. Pestano

CINCINNATI, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A forensic video analyst has testified that former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was not dragged by the vehicle of the man he shot and killed, Sam DuBose.

Grant Fredericks, a 30-year video evidence expert who owns and operates Forensic Video Solutions, carried out a frame-by-frame analysis of Tensing's body camera footage for the jury.


"We can see that the SUV in the driveway, the background, the position of the fence is as it was a few seconds earlier," Fredericks said during testimony on Thursday. "So the background hasn't changed. That means the vehicle hasn't moved forward."

Fredericks said Tensing was not dragged, adding that the car moved less than two feet -- if at all -- in eight tenths of a second before Tensing fired the fatal shot to DuBose's head.

"You see the SUV still in the background," Fredericks told assistant prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. "So the forward motion of the car would have been very short, very small."

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Stew Mathews, Tensing's lawyer, said any "forward motion" could have put Tensing's life in danger, adding that it would be up to the "jury has to make up their own minds about what this video shows."


Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Fredericks' testimony was a success for prosecutors.

"The camera doesn't lie ... and we brought in maybe the best video expert in the country and he was stunningly good on the witness stand," Deters said.

Mathews said that although Fredericks is an expert, his "opinion is no better than the 12 people on the jury."

Tensing, 26, was patrolling near the University of Cincinatti campus when he pulled over DuBose's vehicle for failing to display a front license plate, a primary offense in Ohio. The officer asked DuBose for his driver's license, but the 43-year-old man said he didn't have it.

After asking "are you suspended?," Tensing opened DuBose's driver's side door and asked him to step out of the vehicle. At that point, DuBose shut the door, started the ignition and prepared to drive away.

According to the video, Tensing tried to reach in turn the ignition off while removing the handgun from his holster. He fired one shot that struck DuBose in the head.

Tensing, who pleaded not guilty, claimed DuBose began driving and that he was dragged for several feet. The bodycam video, though, has called that claim into question.


The death of DuBose, who was unarmed and black, generated outcry from the community and prompted the university's police department to investigate and ultimately fire Tensing.

Doug G. Ware contributed to this report.

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