Juror responses raise bias questions in Ohio police shooting
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CINCINNATI — Newly released documents are raising questions about jury selection in the case of a white University of Cincinnati police officer charged with killing a black motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate.
A judge authorized the release Tuesday of redacted juror questionnaires in the case of since-fired officer Ray Tensing, who is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter in the slaying of Sam DuBose in July 2015.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/2fR3d4j ) four jurors in the case agreed some races and/or ethnic groups tend to be more violent than others. One checked "strongly agree."
Red flags should've immediately been raised for those jurors, said Donyetta Bailey, president of the Black Lawyer's Association of Cincinnati.
"I don't understand how they were able to sit on the jury and why they weren't removed for cause," Bailey said. "To me, it's an automatic challenge for cause. It shows racial prejudice."
One juror stated that his uncle is a Cincinnati police officer and indicated he has a friend who is a police officer. He said police "are the good guys" and "should be given the benefit of the doubt."
The jury of 10 whites and two blacks failed to reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared Nov. 12.
Names, ages, addresses and details about jobs were blacked out in the juror questionnaires released Tuesday. Responses from four alternates were included. The newspaper said it couldn't determine specifically which white female jurors deliberated in the case because the alternates were all white women.
In response to a question asking her opinion of the Black Lives Matter group, one white woman responded: "If victims weren't wrong to begin with there wouldn't be so many shootings."
A white male juror responded to a question of whether he had ever had a "frightening experience" with someone of another race by saying he was mugged by "a group of African-Americans" when he was in high school and was punched in the mouth.
Bishop Bobby Hilton, president of the local chapter of the civil rights group the National Action Network, called the questions concerning because they imply these incidents can have "lasting effects."
Tensing testified he feared for his life as DuBose tried to drive away. Tensing's attorney Stewart Mathews told jurors DuBose was using his vehicle as a deadly weapon.
Prosecutor Joe Deters said that the evidence contradicted Tensing's story and that he would retry him on the same charges.
A new judge took over the case Tuesday, and no trial date has been set.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com