CINCINNATI -- A former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder for shooting a motorist he had stopped over a missing front license plate is scheduled for trial in November.
A judge on Wednesday set a Nov. 16 trial date for 25-year-old Ray Tensing in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
The university fired Tensing shortly after his indictment on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 death of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose. Tensing has pleaded not guilty. His attorney has said Tensing feared being dragged under the car as DuBose tried to drive away.
Tensing wasn't in court Wednesday. His attorney has said he plans to ask that the trial be moved to another county but isn't optimistic that will happen.
Last month, an official with the FOP Ohio Labor Council of the state Fraternal Order of Police said Friday that the union has filed a grievance against the university. The union says the university violated Tensing's employment contract by not giving him a predisciplinary conference and a copy of the formal charges.
DuBose's death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. DuBose was black; Tensing is white. Authorities so far have not focused on race in the death of DuBose.
City officials who viewed video footage from Tensing's body camera said the traffic stop shouldn't have led to a shooting.
"This officer was wrong," Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said, adding that officers "have to be held accountable" when they're in the wrong.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters scoffed at Tensing's claim that he was dragged by DuBose's car, saying the officer "purposely killed him." Using words such as "asinine" and "senseless," the veteran prosecutor known for tough stands on urban crime called it "a chicken crap" traffic stop.
"It was so unnecessary," Deters said. He added that Tensing "should never have been a police officer."