Community Demanding Deters Retry Case

Written By: Ishton W. Morton – November 14th, 2016

Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan speaks at the Hamilton County Courthouse for the start of jury selection in the murder case against Ray Tensing, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Cincinnati. The former University of Cincinnati police officer is charged with murder in the shooting death of Sam DuBose. (Carrie Cochran//The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, Pool)
Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan speaks at the Hamilton County Courthouse. 

Subsequently, to Saturday, November 12th, 2016 Hamilton County Judge’s declaration  of a mistrial in Raymond Tensing trial many are asking; why were there no African-American men on the jury for the trial of a white ex-police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man?

Co-incidentally, this seems to have prompted Beverly Davenport,  interim president of the University of Cincinnati (UC) a finalist for the chancellorship position at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to issue a press release. All things considered, Davenporthas served as interim president of UC since the former president Santa Ono departed in July.  

Beverly Davenport, interim president of the University of Cincinnati (UC)
Beverly Davenport, interim president of the University of Cincinnati (UC)

On November 12th, 2016 Davenport released a statement on the Tensing trial outcome. Davenport said; “On behalf of the University of Cincinnati, I extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the tragic loss of Samuel DuBose.”

She continued to say; “We cannot and will not let the outcome of this trial divide us. We remain steadfast in our commitment to building a just community anchored in trust, care, integrity and equity. Our campus and our community will come together to listen, to heal and to partner for positive and lasting change. More than ever, our communities need us – and we need each other – to be beacons of a better and brighter future.” Her statement can be construed as being disingenuous and hypocritical.

Persuasively, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters presented an outstanding case as provided an additional comment and update on the investigation into the July 19th shooting of Samuel Dubose by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.

Still, many law biding citizens have continued to be extremely bewildered over the absence of African-American men on the jury.

Pursuant to this assertion(s) Deters said, “It’s a random selection of registered voters (Two African-American men) were picked. They were in the box, and they said they didn’t want to do it. I don’t know how you can blame the system for that. If they don’t want to do it, they don’t want to do it.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters

Thusly, the jury was made up of two black women, four white women and six white men. There were also four alternates who were all white women (one of them left mid-trial).

Meanwhile, Stew Mathews, attorney for the defense (Tensing) said, “he didn’t challenge any potential jurors based on their race. Because; “I could have had a totally white jury, but that’s not my style and that’s not reflective of the community.

Mathews continued to say; “I would have liked to think they would have listened to the facts and the testimony and decided the case on that basis, and race should not have anything to do with it.”

Accordingly, Stew Mathews presupposition suggested enormous attitudes of racism. There is such a thing as covert racism.

To fully understand our dilemma, covert racism is defined as a form of racial discrimination that is disguised and subtle, rather than public or obvious. Concealed in the fabric of society, covert racism discriminates against individuals through often unnoticeable or seemingly passive methods.

Additionally, covert, racially biased decisions are often hidden or rationalized with an explanation that society is more willing to accept. These racial biases cause a variety of problems that work to empower the suppressors while diminishing the rights and powers of the oppressed. Covert racism often works subliminally, and often much of the discrimination is being done subconsciously.

Mathews seems to be suggesting that he knew Ray Tensing would be cleared of all charges with an all-white jury. Therefore to diminish all chances of a guilty verdict the jury was stock against the Prosecutor which resulted in a mistrial. Yes! Tensing’s defense team planted enough seeds of doubt to leave jurors hopelessly deadlocked.

Despite everything, Sam DuBose’s siblings said “they will keep pressing on!” Terina Allen added “We want Tensing to be convicted of murder, and we’re expecting that within the next six months or so there will be another trial, and we’re going to get the glory that we didn’t get yesterday. And we’re going to watch Tensing walk out of there with handcuffs on.”

Black Lives Matter has called for daily lunch-hour protests
Black Lives Matter has called for daily lunch-hour protests

However, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he will decide whether or not to retry Tensing by Monday, November 28th, 2016 which is the Monday following Thanksgiving. Again, Deters has done an outstanding job on this case.

Finally Deters said, “If there is another trial, the total cost for Ohio in the state’s case against Tensing would be right around $1 million.” It is hoped that will be another trial.

Meanwhile, approximately a 40 clergymen group anticipate meeting with Deters today to discuss the entire process as it pertained to the Tensing’s trial. In the interim Black Lives Matter has called for daily lunch-hour protests at the courthouse, demanding that Deters retry the case.

Author: Ishton W. Morton

Formerly, Ishton W. Morton is an educator and promoter for community advocacy which includes creating programs and services, developing partnerships, and changing public policies, laws, and practices to improve the lifestyle of all people I’m still having an overwhelming desire to provide an Outreach Continuing Education process through this media.