Ohio police officer's body cam footage part of series of videos putting police in the spotlight

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jul 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-30 18:12:26-04

A prosecutor in Hamilton County, Ohio admitted this week that without video footage, there would have been no murder indictment against a former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a driver.

“If we didn’t have that body camera video, what would we have? We would have nothing,” Prosecutor Joe Deters told 700WLW radio host Bill Cunningham after Officer Ray Tensing, a white man, was charged with murder in the shooting death of Sam DuBose, a black man.

Tensing shot DuBose in the head during a traffic stop in Mount Auburn on July 19.

Tensing’s body camera — which recorded his confrontation with DuBose, the shooting and the aftermath — contradicts the play-by-play he told fellow officers after the incident.

The video is the latest in a series of body camera footage and cell phone videos from around the nation that have captured encounters between white officers and black suspects. The evidence has fueled a growing debate about police interactions with minorities, and has even led to policy changes.

Below is a list of recent high profile videos, the first being the body camera video released by Deters’ office Wednesday:

July 19: Former UC Officer Ray Tensing and Sam DuBose

WARNING: This video contains graphic footage

July 10: Sandra Bland, Waller County, Texas

A video recorded on a cell phone showing the arrest of Sandra Bland during a traffic stop and shared on social media contradicted official reports that she was combative toward police. The video surfaced after authorities said Bland committed suicide in jail. The incident remains under investigation and attracted the scrutiny of the FBI.

June 5: McKinney, Texas pool party

Another smartphone video showed white Texas police officer Eric Casebolt point his gun at a black teenage girl wearing a swimsuit outside of a pool party in a wealthy suburb. The incident raised questions about use of force and the motivation of the officer, who has since resigned from his department.

April 4: Walter Scott, North Charleston, South Carolina

A witness recorded white officer, Michael T. Slager, shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott eight times in the back as he tried to run away. Before the video surfaced, Slager said Scott gained control of his Taser, causing him to shoot Scott in self-defense. Slager has since been charged with murder and remains in jail.

WARNING: This video contains unedited, graphic footage

Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice, Cleveland, Ohio

Surveillance camera showing the fatal officer-involved shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Officer Timothy Loehmann sparked outrage and protest when it surfaced. Loehmann shot Rice, who was seen playing with a toy gun earlier. Rice’s death led to mass protests and launched multiple investigations into the incident, which was recorded on grainy security video. Evidence is expected to be presented soon to a grand jury, which will decide whether an indictment is warranted or not.

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