Ex-Cincinnati officer Tensing testifies: 'I thought he was going to kill me'

"I remember thinking, 'Oh my God ... he is going to run me over. He is going to kill me,'" Tensing testified Tuesday.

By Doug G. Ware

CINCINNATI, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A former University of Cincinnati police officer testified Tuesday in his murder trial for the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist last year.

Ray Tensing testified in his own defense on Tuesday, a move most defendants in murder trials opt against.


On the stand, Tensing repeated his initial story that he feared for his life when he shot Sam DuBose, 43, on July 19, 2015, near the college campus.

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"I fired at him because I thought he was going to kill me," Tensing testified.

On that day last year, Tensing had pulled DuBose over and asked for his driver's license. After telling Tensing he didn't have it, DuBose prepared to drive away. The officer reached inside the car and tried to turn off the ignition as the car started pulling away.

Tensing, 26, said he was dragged, but body camera footage calls that into question. Nonetheless, Tensing said he feared for his safety and fired at DuBose once, striking him in the head -- a fatal wound.


On cross-examination Tuesday, prosecutors confronted Tensing with the bodycam footage.

"You do know this is on video, right?" prosecutor Joe Deters queried, also noting that witnesses said the vehicle didn't drag Tensing.

"I can't speak for them, I can only explain my perception," Tensing replied.

"I remember thinking, 'Oh my God ... he is going to run me over. He is going to kill me.'"

RELATED Nov. 2: Jurors visit street where Sam DuBose died

Tensing, charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter, was emotional at times on the stand Tuesday, crying and at one point asking the judge for a respite.

Deters asked the former officer if he was a racist at one point, saying that nearly 84 percent of all citations Tensing issued were given to black motorists.

"No," Tensing answered.

After the former officer's testimony Tuesday, the defense rested its case. The judge told jurors to prepare to be sequestered for deliberations, which could begin Wednesday after closing arguments.

The jury consists of six white men, four white women and two black women.

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