(Reuters) - An Ohio university said on Tuesday it would not reverse its decision to rehire a white former police officer who was fired after fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist, despite two hung juries and prosecutors’ decision not to retry him again for murder.
Ray Tensing, 27, is pursuing a grievance that asks for reinstatement with University of Cincinnati police and back pay, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The paper did not identify the source of the news.
“We have no intention of reversing our decision,” said University of Cincinnati spokesman Greg Vehr, who confirmed a grievance had been filed but was not familiar with the exact demands of the request.
The grievance, initially filed after Tensing was fired in July 2015 following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Sam DuBose during a traffic stop, had been put on hold pending trial, Tensing’s attorney, Stew Mathews, said Tuesday. Mathews is not representing Tensing in the grievance.
It is now being pursued again after charges were dismissed last month and will be overseen by an arbitrator, Vehr said. Mathews believes the department violated Tensing’s contract by not providing due process rights such as a disciplinary hearing.
Tensing’s union, the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council, could not be reached for comment.
Tensing shot and killed DuBose after stopping him for a missing front license plate on his car, a body camera worn by Tensing showed. Tensing testified during both trials that he feared for his life as the reason why he fired his weapon. [L4N1DB6RC]
The trials last November and in June both ended with hung juries over the charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Ohio prosecutors said last month they would not pursue a third trial, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio is considering whether it will file civil rights charges against Tensing.
Reporting by Chris Kenning; editing by Diane Craft