EXCLUSIVE: Cincinnati Prosecutor Says Indicted Cop 'Is a Murderer'
Hamilton County, Ohio Prosecutor Joe Deters talked to Bill Hemmer this morning in his first television interview since he announced a murder charge against a University of Cincinnati policeman.
Officer Ray Tensing was indicted by a grand jury in the July 19 shooting death of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose.
Tensing had pulled over DuBose for not having a front license plate. Tensing claimed that he fired his weapon when DuBose tried to flee and dragged him with the car.
Deters, who previously called the traffic stop a "chicken crap" stop, disputed Tensing's claim that he was dragged.
He said that Tensing fell backwards when he fired his weapon, striking DuBose in the head.
"He was not dragged. He fell backwards. Maybe from the recoil of the gun. I don't know what it was, but he fell backwards," said Deters, adding that a witness saw the confrontation.
"It's outrageous what he did and he needs to be held accountable. He is a murderer. There is no other way to describe it," he said, adding that Tensing pulled out his weapon and fired in the matter of a second.
Deters said the video of the encounter "turned my stomach," emphasizing that other police officers he has spoken to support the charges being brought.
"Some of the best people I work with are police officers. And all of them in the last 24 hours have come up to me and said, 'Look, this was horrible.' The shame of it is that it casts a bad light on everybody," said Deters.
Deters said that without body cameras, this indictment would not have been possible. He said the city and university need to take a closer look at policing in and around the campus.
"No Cincinnati police officer I'm aware of would ever have done something like this," he said.
Deters said ultimately it was a very "simple" decision to bring the murder charge.
"He intentionally shot him in the head. Now, what do you think is gonna happen? He's gonna die. That's what happens when you shoot somebody in the head. ... I'll make that argument to any jury any day of the week."
Hemmer asked what Deters would say to the critics who argue the charges are a response to what happened recently in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and elsewhere.
"I'm gonna do what's right. If it was clearing the cop, I'd have cleared the cop. ... I know this is the right call," he said.
Watch the interview below.