Ray Tensing and the Myth of the “Good Cop”

University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing shot and killed an unarmed black man Samuel DuBose. At the time of this writing, prosecutor Joe Deters indicted him on murder charges and his bond has been set at one million dollars. I believe it is safe to say that Ray Tensing would not have been indicted with a million dollar bond had it not been camera footage of the incident–camera footage that by the way, came from Officer Tensing’s own body cam.

In other words, Officer Tensing shot and killed Dubose KNOWING he was wearing a body camera. Moreover, even though he knew he was wearing a body camera, he not only still shot Dubose in the face, but also then proceeded to lie about what he had done. Again, it is safe to conclude that if there had not been video evidence showing that Tensing was not in danger, that Dubose refused to exit the car, that Dubose “dragged” Tensing on the ground with his car, and any other lie Tensing put in his official report, the Grand Jury would not have indicted him for murder.

What this and all the other police killings show is that there is not a training problem with these rouge officers. They need not to have more experience or more sensitivity training. This is a character problem. It speaks to one’s personal ethics; how one governs oneself. They have already been trained to show respect to citizens. They have already been trained to demonstrate professionalism and courtesy at traffic stops. They have already been trained not to use their weapons unless necessary. They have already been trained to write truthful police reports. Therefore, in this case, no amount of training would have helped. This shooting speaks of the character of the officer because what kind of officer would shoot and kill an unarmed human, then lie about it, while all the time KNOWING that the whole thing was on tape because he was wearing a body camera?

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