Press TV- Protest rallies have erupted outside a courthouse in the US state of Ohio after a judge declared a mistrial in the shooting death of an African American man by a white campus police officer of University of Cincinnati.
The protests on Saturday broke out as the 12 jurors in the case of the university’s police officer Roy Tensing, who shot Sam DuBose in the head during a traffic stop in July 2015, failed to reach a unanimous verdict prompting the judge to rule the case a mistrial.
Tensing was charged with murder for the killing of 43-year-old Sam DuBose during a precautionary traffic stop, which could have resulted in a life sentence. He could have also been jailed for up to 11 years in case of a voluntary manslaughter verdict.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Hamilton County courthouse in the major city after the ruling. Black Lives Matter protesters then marched in the streets and briefly blocked streetcar line, chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” as well as “No Justice, No peace!”
The protesters further censured the outcome of the trial and accused the local justice system of being biased against minorities.
Explaining the trial’s outcome, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters stated in a televised interview that, “What we do know is that the jury were leaning towards acquittal on the murder. They were leaning toward conviction on the voluntary manslaughter, but they just couldn’t come to an agreement.”
He then added that four of the 12 jurors believed Tensing was guilty of murder, and the other eight sought a manslaughter verdict.
More significantly, however, prosecutors also insisted that they were able to prove, by breaking down the bodycam footage shot-by-shot that DuBose’s car only started moving 800 milliseconds before the gunshot by the police officer.
“The video is the ultimate witness. It doesn’t alter or change its story. It has no bias or prejudice. It consistently tells what it saw, whether it’s the first time or thousandth time,” said Deters.
“We thought we proved murder,” added the prosecutor following the mistrial ruling, insisting that the defendant should have never been made a cop, and that the University of Cincinnati should not be overseeing its own police department.
Deters’ department now has until November 28 to file a new hearing, or drop the case. There will be pressure on the prosecutors to continue proceedings given that it is racially-charged.