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WATCH: US cop charged with murder after 'senselessly' shooting black man in the head

“He should never have been a police officer,” says the prosecutor.

dubose Source: WCPO via YouTube

A CAMPUS POLICE officer who shot a black motorist in the head in Cincinnati, Ohio has been charged with murder, it was announced today.

University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who is white, shot and killed 43-year-old Samuel DuBose on 19 July, after an innocuous car stop over a missing registration plate.

Tensing’s bodycam video of the shooting was released overnight, but has not so far caused an outbreak of tensions in the city, as had been feared when it was described in advance as “not good.”

Tensing shot DuBose directly in the head when he attempted to start his engine, after a dispute over his driving license.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference today, saying the officer was a “murderer” who had “purposely killed [DuBose]” and “should never have been a police officer.”

He called the shooting “senseless” and “asinine.”

Traffic Stop Shooting Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters Source: Associated Press

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front registration plate, which is required by Ohio law.

They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver’s license and get out of the car.

Until that point, the 43-year-old had been polite and his conversation with Tensing was cooperative and friendly.

However, as shown in the video below, the incident escalated quickly after the officer attempted to open the driver’s door, and DuBose started his engine.

Before the release of the video, Tensing had said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot at DuBose, but Deters dismissed this, saying he shouldn’t have pulled DuBose over to begin with.

“He fell backward after he shot him in the head,” Deters said, adding that it was a “chicken crap” traffic stop.

Officer Tensing’s lawyer, Stewart Mathews, said earlier today that he thought the charges were likely “given the political climate” and comments made by city officials.

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell had earlier said the video was “not good”, and Prosecutor Deters said he was “shocked” after viewing it.

Warning: This video features a fatal shooting. Graphic elements of it have been pixellated, but it may be disturbing to some viewers.

Source: WCPO.com | 9 On Your Side/YouTube

DuBose’s death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers.

However, authorities haven’t yet indicated whether race is a part of this particular investigation.

The University of Cincinnati on Wednesday closed its main campus in anticipation of grand jury action in the case.

Mark O’Mara, attorney for DuBose’s family, called for a “peaceful and nonaggressive” response from the community after the officer’s indictment.

O’Mara said the family wanted a peaceful reaction because “Sam was a peaceful person.”

Traffic Stop Shooting Mourners carry the casket of Samuel DuBose at his funeral yesterday. Source: Associated Press

Tensing has more than five years of experience in law enforcement and has worked as a University of Cincinnati police officer since April 2014.

His annual performance review this April noted that he was extremely strong in the traffic area and maintains control of his weapons and of “situations he is involved in.”

He has been placed on administrative leave by the Cincinnati Police Department, and fired by the University of Cincinnati.

After the murder charges were issued, Tensing turned himself in this afternoon.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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Dan MacGuill

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