You’ve probably heard the name Ray Tensing; in case you haven’t, he’s the former University of Cincinnati Campus Police officer who was fired, indicted, and arrested, then bonded and bailed out after he shot Samuel Dubose in the head during a traffic stop on July 19th. What you probably don’t know is that Tensing knows he’s going to go free. That’s right, he’s never going to see a jail cell and he knows it.
Before I explain, know that I have no sources, only three solid reasons that make my case.
- Neither Phillip Kidd nor David Lindenschmidt, the two UC officers who lied to corroborate Tensing’s story, have been charged with a crime for falsifying their reports. Yes, both have been suspended–with pay–and charges may be pending but, need I remind you, this is going to play out in a courtroom. Where words have two meanings, logic is replaced with legal procedure, and justice is something more elusive than Big Foot himself. Will either officer’s (false) report make it in front of a jury? Probably not. Will the officers cop (no pun intended) deals to testify? Probably not. Will they be allowed to redact their false statements? Probably; at least, it’s more likely than the other two questions. Truth is, none of us knows what will be allowed as evidence or who will testify about what. A courtroom is merely a circus and the show depends on the ring leader and scheduled acts. Yet what we do know is that you don’t find justice in a courtroom. Not anymore, not in the United States. The mere fact that the book is (on the surface) being thrown at Tensing and not anyone else (nor are any of the bigger questions being asked, like, “Why are police stopping people for missing plates?), means justice is already being disordered. Giving us the first hint that Tensing will walk.C
- Second clue: Tensing was bonded out within 24 hours of turning himself in for $100,000. For those unfamiliar with bail or bond hearings, they are how the court (a judge) determines the amount of risk you are to skipping out on your case. For the average person even the most standard bond is troublesome to line up in a short amount of time. Tensing had to know not only that he was going to get a bond, unlike Michael Slager–the former South Carolina police officer–but also what amount it was going to be. How else could he have raised $100,000 without knowing the amount beforehand? Remember, Tensing was a police officer and falls into the average person class. For anyone else a MILLION dollar bond is a guarantee that you’ll be sitting in jail until your trial is completed, even if you only need 10% to get out. Maybe the facts that he was given a bond at all (when Slager wasn’t) and posted that bond quickly (despite not possibly being able to afford it) aren’t enough to prove he’s going to walk. It means conversations were had, others would be involved, and would be a disaster for city officials. But when you add the conveniences of the bond (one of the lowest for murder) and add it to my last point, one can’t help but wonder if we’re all being played here.
- Can someone explain to me why Tensing walked himself into a police station, and subsequently a jail cell, knowing the severity of the murder charge? Put on his shoes for a moment: You’re a cop who’s been charged with murder, this murder is on video, you’ve been indicted for this murder, and all signs say you’re headed to jail. Do NOT pass go, do NOT collect $200; your former cop butt is going directly to jail. This is obviously a cop’s worst nightmare, being locked up with people you’ve locked up, so what would you do? Seriously, think about it: What would you do?
If you said turn yourself in and face the music, you’re a damn liar. O.J. Simpson went on a joyride and he was “innocent,” and even if you believe he wasn’t…. HE STILL DIDN’T WALK INTO A JAIL CELL ASAP. Who in his right mind, as guilty as Tensing is, would walk himself into a police station knowing he’s looking at spending the rest of his life in jail? Even if you did you’d probably take a moment to do a few things first. Like say goodbye to family, friends and loved ones? Yeah, that would seem logical, so excuse me if I don’t believe that Tensing didn’t have a conversation with somebody, a union leader or someone of such stature, who explained to him that certain things (booking, bond and house arrest) had to be done.
This may seem far-fetched to you and I’m not stating this as rock-solid proof. I’m just pointing to the little cracks in the dam that clearly aren’t supposed to be there. And even if I’m wrong about him walking away and staying out of a jail cell, the fact that the other officers aren’t charged and Tensing was allowed to bond out has already distorted the justice those in Cincinnati seek–so much so that the outcome of this case won’t do much to heal the wounds caused by the police state we all live in.
We most certainly need justice for Samuel and all the other victims of police abuse, that’s for sure. At the same time we need to be asking the tougher questions, too. Questions like, why do we pay for police to murder people in our communities? How can we protect ourselves from police abuse? Just for starters.
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