Fired officer who killed unarmed black man to get back pay
CINCINNATI — A white police officer fired after he fatally shot a black unarmed motorist will get about $344,000 in back pay and legal fees from the University of Cincinnati, the school said Thursday.
The university is paying Ray Tensing to settle a union grievance brought on his behalf for his 2015 firing, following his indictment on murder charges. The charges were dropped last year after two juries deadlocked.
The Fraternal Order of Police had challenged Tensing’s firing, saying he shouldn’t have been removed from the university’s police force before the case was resolved. As part of the settlement, the union said, Tensing has resigned and will not pursue any other claims against the university.
“This case has caused a lot of strife in the community, and I believe the settlement will allow for healing to continue,” said Tensing, 28. “It certainly will do that for me after two difficult trials.”
Tensing’s statement released by the FOP thanked those who had stood behind him.
Tensing shot Sam DuBose, 43, in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate in 2015. He testified that he believed his life was in in danger when DuBose tried to drive away during the traffic stop.
The shooting is among numerous cases nationwide that have called attention to how police deal with blacks, and the two trials underscored the difficulty prosecutors can have gaining convictions of police officers for on-duty shootings.
The University of Cincinnati agreed to pay more than $244,000 in back pay and benefits and $100,000 in legal fees, the two sides said.
“I realize this agreement will be difficult for our community,” university President Neville Pinto said. “I am nevertheless hopeful that we can focus on supporting each other as members of the same Bearcat family — even, perhaps especially, if we don’t agree.”
The university earlier reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose’s family, including free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children.
The school has initiated police reforms and restructured its leadership since the shooting.