Ray Tensing–the University of Cincinnati police officer who was indicted Wednesday in the July 19 murder of unarmed Black motorist Sam DuBose—posted bond, amid reports that other officers at the scene were involved in the death of another Black man.
As WCPO reported, Tensing, 25, posted 10 percent of his $1 million bond, and left jail at 6:45 p.m. on July 30. He was under suicide watch during his stay in jail, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Stew Matthews, attorney for Tensing, said he has received calls from around the country from people who want to help his client.
“Ever since the bond was set, I’ve received calls from around the country from people wanting to contribute to it,” Mathews said. “I think people feel like he’s getting railroaded here in Cincinnati. You’d have to be blind not to see that.”
Matthews said Tensing is “not doing well” and “feels terrible about” the shooting. He said his client is facing death threats.
Tensing pleaded not guilty to the murder and involuntary manslaughter, according to Time magazine. The former officer claimed he was “forced to shoot” DuBose in an initial report alleging the man attempted to run over Tensing after failing to produce his license upon the cop’s request. However, the county prosecutor released a body-camera video in which Tensing shoots DuBose in the head and falls backwards, contradicting Tensing’s account that he was “dragged.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian has reported that two of the officers who were prepared to corroborate Tensing’s fabricated account of the incident were involved in the death of another unarmed Black man five years ago.
University of Cincinnati officers Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd were implicated in the death of Kelly Brinson, 45, a mental health patient at Cincinnati’s University Hospital. On January 20, 2010, Brinson suffered a psychotic episode and was placed in a seclusion room at the hospital by UC police. He was then shocked with a Taser three times and placed in restraints. Brinson, the father of one, suffered a respiratory cardiac arrest and died three days later.
A lawsuit filed by Brinson’s family against UC police and the hospital accused the seven officers involved, including Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd, of using excessive force and alleged they “acted with deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr. Brinson.” The court documents also claimed that Brinson “repeatedly yelled that slavery was over and he repeatedly pleaded not to be shackled and not to be treated like a slave” before he was restrained.
“If something had been done in 2010, I don’t think this wouldn’t have happened,” said Kelly Brinson’s brother, Derek, said in an interview.
In times of tragedy there are lessons learned, and with each subsequent police killing of a Black body, we are provided a glimpse into a corrupt justice system. The deaths of Sam DuBose and Kelly Brinson, two unarmed and innocent Black men who were killed through their interactions with UC police, raise questions about the “blue wall of silence” that protects corrupt, unscrupulous and murderous police officers from being held to account for their criminality.
While some segments of society believe the police are always there to “protect and serve” the public, it is clear that as far as the Black community is concerned, there is a police culture that protects and serves the interests of cops who murder Black people. Black bodies are placed in peril when it’s insisted they must obey every police command or risk death, when the police are themselves criminals. These are not rogue officers, but part of a rogue system that is built on racism, violence and self-preservation.
Those who defend and protect people such as Ray Tensing, Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd must understand they are complicit in the death of Black bodies.