Jury selection will begin Tuesday, May 30, in the retrial of a former University of Cincinnati cop charged with murdering an unarmed Black motorist after the case ended in a mistrial last year, Reuters reported.
Ex-officer Ray Tensing, 27, fatally shot Samuel DuBose in July 2015 during a traffic stop after pulling over the Black motorist for a missing front license plate on his car. Dubose’s death sparked national outrage, as angry citizens decried the use of lethal force by white officers against yet another unarmed African-American.
Prospective jurors gathered at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati Tuesday, where they completed questionnaires for both the prosecution and defense. Though juror questions haven’t been made public, the Associated Press reported that questions about race attitudes and experiences with police were asked prior to the first trial.
A final jury is set to be selected before opening statements begin in the case.
Tensing still faces murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the retrial. The case ended in mistrial last November after jurors failed to come to an agreement, but prosecutors vowed to try the case again for the sake of gaining justice for DuBose and his family.
Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Deters had hoped to have the trial moved to a different venue outside the county, due to intense media scrutiny surrounding the high-profile case. However, Judge Leslie Ghiz is determined to keep the trial in the county.
In the initial trial, Tensing testified that he feared for his life and only fired his gun to prevent being run over by DuBose’s vehicle as he tried to drive away. Prosecutors asserted, however, that the then-officer was never in danger and exaggerated claims that he was being dragged by the Black man’s car.
On Friday, May 26, Ghiz excluded from evidence the fact that Tensing was wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt at the time of the shooting, citing it as too prejudicial, according to Reuters. She also denied a motion from the defense to throw out the case amid allegations that Deters had discussed the trial in a recent interview after a gag order was placed on all parties.