No charges vs. 2 officers at scene of traffic stop shooting

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Posted: Jul 31, 2015 3:12 PM
No charges vs. 2 officers at scene of traffic stop shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — Two University of Cincinnati police officers who were at the scene just after a fellow officer fatally shot a driver are not being charged, a prosecutor said Friday.

The Hamilton County grand jury did not return indictments against Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt. The announcement that they wouldn't be charged came a day after former Officer Ray Tensing pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose.

Kidd and Lindenschmidt were put on administrative leave this week during a university investigation. The officers haven't responded to messages left at the school's police department and at a possible home number for Lindenschmidt. No home number could be found for Kidd.

A police report and body camera video from the two officers showed they were on the scene just after the shooting. Footage showed Tensing getting up from the ground after DuBose had been shot.

Tensing's attorney has said Tensing fired at DuBose because he thought he was going to be dragged under the motorist's car.

Kidd can be heard on body camera video saying "yes" to another officer's question on whether he saw Tensing dragged. Prosecutors have said Tensing was not dragged and Tensing's own body camera video doesn't show any dragging.

County Prosecutor Joe Deters says Kidd and Lindenschmidt arrived as Tensing reached into DuBose's car. Their official statements about what happened matched what was shown on Tensing's body camera, and neither officer said in official interviews that he saw Tensing being dragged, according to Deters.

Both officers made comments at the scene but later were interviewed in depth by Cincinnati police about what they had witnessed, according to Deters.

"These officers have been truthful and honest about what happened and no charges are warranted," Deters said.

DuBose's family had asked prosecutors to investigate the other officers. The family's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said in email Friday that they are "still concerned with the initial rendition of facts given by the officers," but he said the family respects the grand jury's decision.

Also Friday, the county coroner released preliminary autopsy findings showing that DuBose died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Meanwhile, Tensing is trying to get his job back. He was fired shortly after his indictment Wednesday and released on bail Thursday.

The executive director of the FOP Ohio Labor Council, a division of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, said Friday that the union filed a grievance on Tensing's behalf Wednesday to try to get him reinstated. The union said the university violated Tensing's employment contract by not giving him a pre-disciplinary conference and a copy of the formal charges, executive director Catherine Brockman said.

University spokeswoman Michele Ralston said it stands by its decision to terminate Tensing.