July 17, 2017 / 7:12 PM / 6 months ago

Prosecutors to reveal plans on ex-Ohio cop who fatally shot motorist

(Reuters) - A white former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a black motorist and whose two cases ended in mistrials will learn on Tuesday whether prosecutors will pursue a third murder trial.

The July 2015 shooting, which was captured by the ex-officer’s body camera, set off protests and fueled national debate about the use of excessive force by police against minorities.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters will hold a news conference on Tuesday to announce whether his office will pursue a retrial of Ray Tensing, 27, his office said. The previous two trials - last month and in November 2016 - ended in hung juries.

FILE PHOTO - Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, charged with murdering a black man in a traffic stop, is seen in an undated booking photo released from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Ohio, U.S. on July 29, 2015. Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

In both trials, Tensing was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Tensing, who was fired after he was initially charged, had stopped Samuel DuBose, 43, for missing a front license plate on his car. Tensing testified during both trials that he feared for his life and shot once, hitting DuBose in the head.

Family members of DuBose have urged prosecutors to pursue the third trial. There has been no word from prosecutors on their possible plans since the most recent mistrial.

Lawyers on both sides said previously that they had discussed a possible plea agreement before the start of the second trial involving a lesser charge of reckless homicide.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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