A former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed an unarmed motorist during an off-campus traffic stop has reached a settlement worth nearly $350,000, UC announced Thursday afternoon.
A grievance was filed by the Ohio police union behalf of Ray Tensing after he was fired in July 2015 following the shooting. Tensing will receive $244,230 in back pay and benefits and legal fees of $100,000, reports Cincinnati.com. In exchange, Tensing will resign and has agreed not to file a lawsuit against the Ohio school.
Tensing was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges after he pulled over Sam DuBose for a missing license plate on July 19, 2015. Tensing shot unarmed DuBose in the head.
Tensing claims to have used his weapon because he feared for his life after his arm became trapped inside DuBose’s moving vehicle. The incident was caught on Tensing’s body camera and revealed his claim was false and that he shot DuBose while the vehicle was still.
Tensing was tried twice but both ended in mistrials as jurors were unable to agree on whether he was guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter.
“I’m very upset with UC paying that murderer Tensing. He’s officially a paid assassin who has not shown one ounce of remorse for killing an innocent man,” DaShonda Reid, DuBose’s fiance and the mother of four of his 13 children, wrote in a text message to The Enquirer. “To even want compensation (after) murdering an innocent man shows how soulless and callous he is. UC has now reversed any of the rights they attempted to do by Sam. His blood is not only on Tensing’s hands (and) the justice system, it’s now on UC’s hands.”
Tensing released a statement following the settlement, saying he was “satisfied” with the decision.
“This case has caused a lot of strife in the community, and I believe the settlement will allow for healing to continue; it certainly will do that for me after two difficult trials,” he said.
Back in 2016, the school reached a $4.85 million civil settlement with DuBose’s family, although UC only paid $100,000 out of pocket. The settlement also included tuition for DuBose’s children, an on-campus memorial and the option for the family to play a role in campus matters relating to police reform.
UC also did a complete review of its police department which brought about several changes, including new training for officers in techniques such as de-escalation, changes in best practices like arming officers with Tasers as a non-lethal option, and a turnover in leadership, including the hiring of the department’s first female chief earlier this year, according to WCPO.
“We are making meaningful progress with the voluntary police reforms we initiated with the input and engagement of the broader community,” UC President Neville Pinto said of the changes.
An advisory council was also created and is chaired by retired Hamilton County Judge John Andrew West.
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