CINCINNATI (AP) – A judge on Monday put off setting a trial date for a University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a driver after a traffic stop.
Hamilton Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan scheduled a Dec. 15 pre-trial hearing for Ray Tensing to allow more time for evidence-gathering and experts’ reports before a trial date is set. Tensing wasn’t at the hearing.
Tensing is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose, a black motorist he pulled over for a missing front license plate.
Tensing, who is white, has pleaded not guilty and was released under $1 million bond.
His attorney has said Tensing feared being dragged under the car as DuBose tried to drive away.
The university fired Tensing soon after his indictment.
The fatal shooting of DuBose came during increased attention nationally on how police treat African-Americans.
Authorities haven’t focused on race as a factor in this case, but the University of Cincinnati’s police chief expressed alarm at a Cincinnati Enquirer report that showed a surge in citations against black motorists and pedestrians in the months before the fatal shooting. The newspaper said Tensing stopped and cited minority drivers at higher rates than other officers did.
Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, has requested that the trial be moved to a different county. He contends that Tensing can’t get a fair trial in Hamilton County because of extensive pretrial publicity and allegedly prejudicial comments made by county prosecutor Joe Deters and several city officials.
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