Hamilton County (Ohio) Prosecutor Joe Deters showed footage from the body camera worn by a former University of Cincinnati police officer during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, just moments after announcing a grand jury had indicted the officer on one count of murder and one count of voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose during an off-campus traffic stop.
In the days to follow the shooting, DuBose’s family and friends -- skeptical of the initial police report’s account of the traffic stop -- called on Deters to release the video. Community leaders and local media would soon follow suit, demanding the prosecutor release the footage.
Deters refused the request, pending a grand jury’s decision.
On Wednesday, the public got a glimpse of just how pivotal the video would become.
“If we didn’t have the body camera video, what would we have? We would have nothing,” Deters told 700 WLW’s Bill Cunningham Wednesday afternoon, saying the video is what cleared the way for his pursuit of a murder conviction and a life sentence for Tensing.
That’s because, as Deters pointed out, initial reports of the incident do not quite line up with what the video seems to show.
At the center of the discrepancy is one question: Did DuBose drag the officer beside his car?
While the incident report depicted an officer firing his weapon in self-defense, Deters said the video told a different story, one in which a possibly frustrated police officer knowingly killed an unarmed man.
"I think he (the officer) lost his temper because Mr. DuBose would not get out of his car... When you see it, you will not believe how quickly he pulled his gun and shot him in the head," Deters said.
After viewing the video, the officer’s attorney Stew Mathew said he expected an indictment, but does not see the video as demonstrative of guilt.
Mathews showed WCPO footage from a second body camera video, which he claims “adds some detail and some clarity to what happened.”
What new details Mathew says this second video will reveal remains unclear.
Same goes for whether the other officers cited in the police report will face any charges.