Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bumping with New Developments (Update 12): In the Interest of Justice for Sam DuBose, Officer Ray Tensing and the People of Cincinnati

NOTE:  Updates are displayed before original post.  Scroll down to 'Start of original post' to see original frame-by-frame analysis sourced from Officer Tensing's complete body cam recording.

Update #12 contains review of Kroll Report; challenging the claim that Officer Ray Tensing provided an inaccurate statement as part of their investigation.

Bottom line for readers simply wanting the net of this post without reading all the detail:
  1. Officer Ray Tensing may (jury will decide) have feared he was being dragged and thus feared for his life.
  2. The fear (from 1) may have justified use of lethal force (jury will decide).
  3. Not only may Officer Tensing have feared that he would be dragged, Officer Tensing WAS dragged as the video evidence conclusively shows (detail below).
  4. The jury will have to reconcile the fear of being dragged with the fact that he was dragged.
Update 12: (12/24/2015):

The promised (see Update 11) complete review of the Kroll report is now available via Google Docs (link).

The review details a major oversight in Kroll's analysis.

Specifically, video evidence that shows that Mr. Dubose may have pinned Officer Tensing's arm against the steering wheel.  This evidence contradicts the assertion made by Kroll that:
 "Contrary to Tensing’s statements, at no point in the body camera video footage does it appear that Tensing’s arm is lodged or caught in the steering wheel of the Accord or other aspect of the car’s interior."




Update 11: (9/20/2015):

Link to the report commissioned by the University of Cincinnati by Kroll:  Review and Investigation of Officer Raymond M. Tensing’s Use of Deadly Force on July 19, 2015: University of Cincinnati Police Department

Porkopolis is reviewing the complete report in detail and will be publishing an analysis here in the coming days (see: 'Update 12').   

An immediate finding is that the report makes the following conclusion (emphasis added):

Tensing’s decision to reach into the vehicle when Dubose started the car engine escalated and rendered unsafe what was, until then, a minor and uneventful traffic stop. According to Tensing’s statement to CPD two days after the incident, Tensing had “reached pretty far in” the car, “I would imagine two-and-a-half to three feet” when Dubose turned the ignition key. This led to additional actions by Dubose and Tensing that elevated the risk of a deadly encounter. While it is true that, had Dubose complied with Officer’s Tensing’s requests and not attempted to drive away, no shooting likely would have occurred, it is also true that, had Tensing exercised discretion and sound judgment consistent with his police training and generally accepted police practices, and de-escalated the encounter by allowing Dubose to simply drive off, his use of deadly force during this traffic stop would have been entirely avoidable.
The report uses 7 pages (Section 3, pages 8 through 15)  to detail and document policy and procedures, but does not reference a specific section of the police training manual to support the assertion.

The report does offer the following in support of the assertion (emphasis added):
It is standard police practice, critical to officer safety, never to reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop.  It is taught as part of basic training in the police academy and is reinforced by FTOs on patrols with Officers-in-Training. Almost all of the UCPD officers interviewed by Kroll confirmed that they have been properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop.  Many of these same officers cited the tragic line-of-duty death of CPD Officer Kevin Crayon on September 1, 2000. Officer Crayon was dragged to his death after reaching into a vehicle in an attempt to stop a 12-year-old driver from striking pedestrians and fleeing the scene.
But then the report concludes with the following final point in section 6, Recommendations (emphasis added): 
Create an In-Service Training Module to specifically address traffic stop safety. This training
should emphasize the inherent dangers to officers, drivers, passengers, and innocent by-standers when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop.
This raises the following reasonable questions:
  1. If  "Almost all of the UCPD officers interviewed by Kroll confirmed that they have been properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop" who were the officers that did not confirm that they have been "properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop" ?  Does this list of officer(s) include individual(s) beside Officer Ray Tensing?
  2. If the report states the standard police practice to "never reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" why is it necessary to "create an In-Service Training Module" to "emphasize the inherent dangers to officers, drivers, passengers, and innocent by-standers when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop"?
  3. Does the existing training module already state that an officer should "never...reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" and if does, why wasn't if referenced in the report? 
  4. Why is Kroll recommending that officers be educated on the dangers "when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop"; implying that there are some circumstances when an officer may reach inside a car?  If the rule and policy is "never to reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" is it necessary to educate officers on the dangers of what happens when they are doing something they shouldn't be doing in the first place?
This August 22, 2015 news report quotes Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden on a situation where it is necessary to reach into a car (emphasis added):
...Police officials aren’t saying why the officer, who has been on the force for more than six years, reached into the Prius. But law enforcement officers say it isn’t a step taken lightly.

“We definitely don’t want to go in through an open window,” Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden said.

Still, if an officer pulls over a motorist or sees a car on the side of the road and they approach and realize the driver is intoxicated, he said, “you need to get that vehicle turned off or in park.

It’s not uncommon for an officer in that situation to reach in to turn off the ignition so the impaired motorist doesn’t take off and endanger others on the road, he said. But if the officer reaches in and their arm gets entangled in the steering wheel, “it can go wrong really quick,” especially if the driver decides to put the car in gear and take off...
Update 10: (8/21/2015):

Link to analysis by David Blake, a certified police instructor: Ray Tensing Shooting: Potential Video Bias.

The analysis makes reference to U.S. Supreme Court Case Graham v. Connor:
...(c) The Fourth Amendment "reasonableness" inquiry is whether the officers' actions are "objectively reasonable" in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. The "reasonableness" of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation... (cite

Update 9: (8/20/2015):

Prosecution claims:
"The State is unaware of evidence favorable to the Defendant."
They haven't looked or are purposefully avoiding the evidence.

Update 8: (8/19/2015):

WCPO video interview with Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.  At the start of the interview Deters challenges the reporter by saying he did not indict Officer Ray Tensing, but the grand jury did:

Reporter:  Let's start with Ray Tensing.  It's been almost two weeks since you indicted him. 
Deters (interrupting): I didn't, the grand jury did.

Then at 11:00 Deters says the following:
..."Right after it happened I talked to the mayor … and he said to me, 'I think you might have stopped a riot.' And I said, 'John, that might be true, but that's not why I did this.'

"I did it because it was the right thing to do. I did this because we believe he intentionally shot him in the head."...

Update 7: (8/16/2015):

Opinion piece by former police officer Stephen R. Kramer: 'Only DuBose had criminal intent':
...Police Officer Ray Tensing was hired to patrol the CUF area for the drug dealers, burglars and violent people who have plagued that community for decades. We can assume that he sensed DuBose was one of these. A police officer has to have a pretext to stop and talk to suspected criminals. Tensing found one – the car had only one license plate.

Tensing didn't know it at the time, but he was right! DuBose's records show that he was a drug dealer, burglar and violent person – just what Tensing was hired to look for. He was also illegally driving the car, illegally had drugs for sale, and obviously lying to Tensing at the traffic stop.

In the next few seconds, both made some bad decisions. DuBose illegally failed to comply with Tensing's orders, illegally resisted arrest, and illegally drove off. Tensing reached into the car. DuBose sped up regardless of the danger to Tensing. Both would probably tell you these were the dumbest things either had done in their lives. But only DuBose's actions had criminal intent.
Update 6: (8/4/2015):

Link to Prosecutor Joe Deters' press conference transcript with the erroneous assertions:
...Q: The officer's attorney told us that the officer was dragged. And the incident report suggests that, too. Does the video show that at all?
Deters: No, he wasn't dragged
Q: Was he ever knocked to the ground, from the hood of the car to the ground?
Deters: No, he fell backwards after he shot him in the head...
Update 5: (8/2/2015):

This analysis just published today by Compass Check Consulting Services, LLC is very detailed:



 Updated version of same analysis with more details and questions for the prosecution:

 

Update 4: (8/2/2015):


Another frame-by-frame analysis by 'ScienceMadeEasy' with more details:



Update 3: (8/2/2015):

Link to the original police report: http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/ucomm/docs/incident-report.pdf

Assuming a formal forensic analysis (as called for below) establishes that the Mr. DuBose's car was moving (as CNN reports; see Update 2) while Officer Tensing was holding on to the seat belt (see: Time Mark: 3:16 below), the jury will have an opportunity to assess Tensing's state of mind and the accuracy of his statements to Officer Weibel.

The analysis below may ultimately call into question the prosecutor's indictment and claims by the media (like CNN) that the video does not support Tensing's statements:

...Officer Tensing stated that he was attempting a traffic stop (No front license plate) when, at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver who was operating a 1998 Green Honda Accord(OH.GLN6917). Officer Tensing stated that he almost was run over by the driver of the Honda Accord and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon (Sig Sauer P320). Officer Tensing stated that he fired a single shot. Officer Tensing repeated that he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon...
At a minimum, Tensing's defense team may use this as evidence to argue reasonable doubt.

To support the 'state of mind' argument, Officer Tensing is heard  in the video yelling "Stop, Stop".  Consider this:  does someone yell "Stop!, Stop!" to something that's already stopped or something that is moving and they want to get it to stop?

So to be perfectly clear:


  1. Will it be forensically established, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the car was moving before Officer Tensing used his gun.
  2. If (1) is established, did Officer Tensing, who was holding the seat belt (as established by Time Mark 3:16 below) while the car was moving, have a reasonable fear in his mind that he was being dragged; resulting in the use of his firearm to defend himself.  


Update 2: (8/2/2015):

CNN is reporting (with video starting at 0:58) that Sam DuBose's car moved before Officer Ray Tensing fires his gun:
...Frame by frame you see the police officer reach for DuBose's door.  Asks Dubose, who is driving on a suspended license, to remove his seat belt.  DuBose starts the car.  It begins to move. The officer's gun comes out.  He shouts "Stop, Stop". Then the gun shot. The car speeds up. The officer is on the ground.  The gun in front of the camera...
CNN does not analyze the oil stains evidence, as is done below, to show that Officer Tensing was indeed dragged.

Update 1 (8/2/2015):
Food for thought:  
Scared Cop ≠  Bad Cop:

Start of original post (before updates):

On July 29, 2015, Officer Ray Tensing was charged with murder in the July 19, 2015 death of a Sam DuBose.

Officer Ray Tensing has asserted that he was dragged during the incident.  The Huffington Post reports (emphasis added):

...But [Prosecutor] Deters said Wednesday that the video doesn't support that telling of events.

Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head."

The video does appear to support Deters' account that Tensing fell backwards after firing the shot.

In the video, Tensing repeatedly asks DuBose if he has a license. DuBose says he has one and it's not suspended, but he doesn't have it on him.

Tensing then asks DuBose to take his seat belt off. At that point, DuBose appears to put his right hand on the key in the ignition, and it sounds as if his car is starting.

Tensing screams, "Stop! Stop!" before firing his gun at DuBose.

The officer falls backwards onto the ground and then gets up and starts running. There's no clear indication that Tensing was dragged before he shot DuBose...
The following type of analysis and evidence from Officer Tensing's body cam will more than likely be part of the trial and search for justice; for Mr. DuBose, Officer Tensing and the whole Cincinnati community.  Both the death of a fellow citizen and the prosecution of an officer sworn to protect us is a serious matter worthy of thoughtful and fair assessment.   

This initial analysis of the video challenges the reported assertion that "Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head."

In addition, the analysis points the way to determine if there is "clear indication that Tensing was dragged before he shot DuBose".    The analysis shows that an angle made by a line from the license plate of an automobile parked in a driveway to the passenger-side door-release knob becomes more obtuse (gets larger) from the time the car is turned on by Mr. DuBose to the time Officer Tensing fires his gun.

Note:  A formal forensic analysis that accurately accounts for the relative positioning of items noted in this analysis and for the possible body cam fish-eye-like distortion would be required for a definitive conclusion.

Ultimately,  a jury of his peers will determine if Officer Tensing properly feared for his life during the incident, but the jury should have all the facts when an officer's liberty is at stake and a fellow citizen is dead as a result of his actions.

Primary source of evidence: the complete body cam video:




Time Mark: 1:15
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red arrow identifier for the large pole along the fence:
  • Mr. DuBose's is the passenger in the dark car on the far right of the frame.
  • There is no car parked along the fence.   
  • Seven (7) vertical steel fence beams down along the fence is a large pole (see red arrow) which will be referred to later.



Time Mark: 1:25
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows that identify oil stains on the road, the automobile parked in the driveway and a line from the center of the automobile to the passenger-side door-release knob:

  • A small oil stain is located near the driver-side, front wheel of Mr. DuBose's car.
  • Two large oil stains are located several feet down the road in front of Mr. DuBose's car.



Time Mark: 2:06
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red line from the center of the parked automobile in the driveway to the door release knob in Mr. Dubose's car.



Time Mark: 3:15
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red line from the center of the automobile parked in the driveway to the door release knob in Mr. DuBose's car.  The approximate angle made by the red lines is 110 degrees.  The 3:15 video mark is approximately 1 second after Mr. Dubose has turned on the car.  Take careful note of how much of the automobile is visible in the area that frames the passenger-side window.



Time Mark: 3:16
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with two red lines that make an angle of approximately 115 degrees.  Note that more of the automobile in the driveway can now be seen within the frame around the passenger-side window.

The formal forensic analysis will have to determine if the effect of seeing more of the automobile in the driveway through the passenger window is a result of:

  • the car moving;
  • Officer Tensing moving to his right;
  • Officer Tensing moving closer to the car; 
  • or any combination of all three dynamics.


Officer Tensing is clearly grabbing Mr. DuBose's seat belt.



Time Mark: 3:17 The moment Mr. DuBose is shot. 
Evidence/Analysis:   Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with two red lines that make an angle of approximately 145 degrees.  Note that the automobile in the driveway can now be completely seen within the frame around the passenger-side window.

The angle made by the red lines has grown from 110 degrees to 145 degrees suggesting that the car has moved.  This possible movement of the car, while Officer Tensing was holding the seat belt, is probably what Officer Tensing reported as being dragged.



Time Mark: 3:19 
Evidence/Analysis:   Officer Tensing and the body camera are now facing the fence beyond the the pole identified in initial frame at video time mark 1:15.  Officer Tensing is on the ground. Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows identifying the pole and a passenger car that may have an additional witness to the incident since that car was not there when the stop was initiated.  Note that it looks like the brake lights on the car are on.



Time Mark: 3:22 Officer Tensing is lifting himself from the ground.
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows identifying the oil marks from video frame above at 1:25.  This is conclusive evidence that Prosecutor Deters' assertion that  "Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head." is incorrect.

The evidence clearly shows that Officer Tensing was dragged from the location where Mr. DuBose's car was at 1:25 in the video (shown again below for reference) to where Officer Tensing is at 3:22 in the video.




Related:




Sunday, August 09, 2015

Governor Kasich was Mealy-Mouthed and Missed an Opportunity to Defend Ohio's Constitution on the Marriage Amendment

Governor Kasich is getting a lot of attention for his stance on gay marriage during the primary debate (video).

But earlier this year, before the Supreme Court's decision on the Ohio's Marriage Amendment as it related to the Ohio-initiated Obergefell v. Hodges case, he failed to make the case on behalf of the people of Ohio.

In the April 18, 2015 CNN interview with Sara Murray he was asked about his position on gay marriage and his decision to attend a wedding of a close gay friend (Video starting at 0:35):

Sarra Murray: "...So what brought you to that decision even though you are opposed to gay marriage?"

Governor Kasich: "...It's pretty simple for me.  I don't need to be making big statements about any of this.  I'm not going to change my position on it.   We'll see what the court does. But, it's pretty simple.  I care about him, he cares about me. He invited me to something.  I'm going to go do it.  It's not that complicated..."  
When it mattered most, Governor Kasich was mealy-mouthed when it came to  the democratically arrived at public policy of the state he governs.

As the highest elected official of the state, the issue was not solely about how he privately felt, but about how Ohio's decision to economically subsidize relationships that resulted in new citizens for the state.

Consistent with his position, Kasich should have said something like:

 'I've carefully read Judge Sutton's decision from the 6th Circuit that the Supreme Court is now reviewing.   The opinion exactly captures the intent of my fellow citizens in Ohio when we voted for a change to our constitution in 2004.  The justices of the Supreme Court should look at Judge Sutton's sound legal reasoning and respect the democratic will of Ohioans when he states':
...One starts from the premise that governments got into the business of defining marriage, and remain in the business of defining marriage, not to regulate love but to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of male-female intercourse. Imagine a society without marriage. It does not take long to envision problems that might result from an absence of rules about how to handle the natural effects of male-female intercourse: children. May men and women follow their procreative urges wherever they take them? Who is responsible for the children that result? How many mates may an individual have? How does one decide which set of mates is responsible for which set of children? That we rarely think about these questions nowadays shows only how far we have come and how relatively stable our society is, not that States have no explanation for creating such rules in the first place.

Once one accepts a need to establish such ground rules, and most especially a need to create stable family units for the planned and unplanned creation of children, one can well appreciate why the citizenry would think that a reasonable first concern of any society is the need to regulate male-female relationships and the unique procreative possibilities of them. One way to pursue this objective is to encourage couples to enter lasting relationships through subsidies and other benefits and to discourage them from ending such relationships through these and other means. People may not need the government’s encouragement to have sex. And they may not need the government’s encouragement to propagate the species. But they may well need the government’s encouragement to create and maintain stable relationships within which children may flourish. It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws (that men and women complement each other biologically), that created the policy imperative. And governments typically are not second-guessed under the Constitution for prioritizing how they tackle such issues. Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 486–87 (1970)...
...What we are left with is this: By creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring. That does not convict the States of irrationality, only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes and that couples of the same sex do not run the risk of unintended offspring. That explanation, still relevant today, suffices to allow the States to retain authority over an issue they have regulated from the beginning...

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Friday, July 31, 2015

In the Interest of Justice for Sam DuBose, Officer Ray Tensing and the People of Cincinnati

NOTE:  Updates are displayed before original post.  Scroll down to 'Start of original post' to see original frame-by-frame analysis sourced from Officer Tensing's complete body cam recording.

Bottom line for readers simply wanting the net of this post without reading all the detail:
  1. Officer Ray Tensing may (jury will decide) have feared he was being dragged and thus feared for his life.
  2. The fear (from 1) may have justified use of lethal force (jury will decide).
  3. Not only may Officer Tensing have feared that he would be dragged, Officer Tensing WAS dragged as the video evidence conclusively shows (detail below).
  4. The jury will have to reconcile the fear of being dragged with the fact that he was dragged.
Update 12: (12/24/2015):

The promised (see Update 11) complete review of the Kroll report is now available via Google Docs (link).

The review details a major oversight in Kroll's analysis.

Specifically, video evidence that shows that Mr. Dubose may have pinned Officer Tensing's arm against the steering wheel.  This evidence contradicts the assertion made by Kroll that:
 "Contrary to Tensing’s statements, at no point in the body camera video footage does it appear that Tensing’s arm is lodged or caught in the steering wheel of the Accord or other aspect of the car’s interior."




Update 11: (9/20/2015):

Link to the report commissioned by the University of Cincinnati by Kroll:  Review and Investigation of Officer Raymond M. Tensing’s Use of Deadly Force on July 19, 2015: University of Cincinnati Police Department

Porkopolis is reviewing the complete report in detail and will be publishing an analysis here in the coming days (see: 'Update 12').   

An immediate finding is that the report makes the following conclusion (emphasis added):

Tensing’s decision to reach into the vehicle when Dubose started the car engine escalated and rendered unsafe what was, until then, a minor and uneventful traffic stop. According to Tensing’s statement to CPD two days after the incident, Tensing had “reached pretty far in” the car, “I would imagine two-and-a-half to three feet” when Dubose turned the ignition key. This led to additional actions by Dubose and Tensing that elevated the risk of a deadly encounter. While it is true that, had Dubose complied with Officer’s Tensing’s requests and not attempted to drive away, no shooting likely would have occurred, it is also true that, had Tensing exercised discretion and sound judgment consistent with his police training and generally accepted police practices, and de-escalated the encounter by allowing Dubose to simply drive off, his use of deadly force during this traffic stop would have been entirely avoidable.
The report uses 7 pages (Section 3, pages 8 through 15)  to detail and document policy and procedures, but does not reference a specific section of the police training manual to support the assertion.

The report does offer the following in support of the assertion (emphasis added):
It is standard police practice, critical to officer safety, never to reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop.  It is taught as part of basic training in the police academy and is reinforced by FTOs on patrols with Officers-in-Training. Almost all of the UCPD officers interviewed by Kroll confirmed that they have been properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop.  Many of these same officers cited the tragic line-of-duty death of CPD Officer Kevin Crayon on September 1, 2000. Officer Crayon was dragged to his death after reaching into a vehicle in an attempt to stop a 12-year-old driver from striking pedestrians and fleeing the scene.
But then the report concludes with the following final point in section 6, Recommendations (emphasis added): 
Create an In-Service Training Module to specifically address traffic stop safety. This training
should emphasize the inherent dangers to officers, drivers, passengers, and innocent by-standers when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop.
This raises the following reasonable questions:
  1. If  "Almost all of the UCPD officers interviewed by Kroll confirmed that they have been properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop" who were the officers that did not confirm that they have been "properly trained to not reach into a vehicle during a traffic stop" ?  Does this list of officer(s) include individual(s) beside Officer Ray Tensing?
  2. If the report states the standard police practice to "never reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" why is it necessary to "create an In-Service Training Module" to "emphasize the inherent dangers to officers, drivers, passengers, and innocent by-standers when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop"?
  3. Does the existing training module already state that an officer should "never...reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" and if does, why wasn't if referenced in the report? 
  4. Why is Kroll recommending that officers be educated on the dangers "when an officer reaches inside an occupied motor vehicle during a traffic stop"; implying that there are some circumstances when an officer may reach inside a car?  If the rule and policy is "never to reach into an occupied vehicle during a traffic stop" is it necessary to educate officers on the dangers of what happens when they are doing something they shouldn't be doing in the first place?
This August 22, 2015 news report quotes Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden on a situation where it is necessary to reach into a car (emphasis added):
...Police officials aren’t saying why the officer, who has been on the force for more than six years, reached into the Prius. But law enforcement officers say it isn’t a step taken lightly.

“We definitely don’t want to go in through an open window,” Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden said.

Still, if an officer pulls over a motorist or sees a car on the side of the road and they approach and realize the driver is intoxicated, he said, “you need to get that vehicle turned off or in park.

It’s not uncommon for an officer in that situation to reach in to turn off the ignition so the impaired motorist doesn’t take off and endanger others on the road, he said. But if the officer reaches in and their arm gets entangled in the steering wheel, “it can go wrong really quick,” especially if the driver decides to put the car in gear and take off...
Update 10: (8/21/2015):

Link to analysis by David Blake, a certified police instructor: Ray Tensing Shooting: Potential Video Bias.

The analysis makes reference to U.S. Supreme Court Case Graham v. Connor:
...(c) The Fourth Amendment "reasonableness" inquiry is whether the officers' actions are "objectively reasonable" in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. The "reasonableness" of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation... (cite

Update 9: (8/20/2015):

Prosecution claims:
"The State is unaware of evidence favorable to the Defendant."
They haven't looked or are purposefully avoiding the evidence.

Update 8: (8/19/2015):

WCPO video interview with Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.  At the start of the interview Deters challenges the reporter by saying he did not indict Officer Ray Tensing, but the grand jury did:

Reporter:  Let's start with Ray Tensing.  It's been almost two weeks since you indicted him. 
Deters (interrupting): I didn't, the grand jury did.

Then at 11:00 Deters says the following:
..."Right after it happened I talked to the mayor … and he said to me, 'I think you might have stopped a riot.' And I said, 'John, that might be true, but that's not why I did this.'

"I did it because it was the right thing to do. I did this because we believe he intentionally shot him in the head."...

Update 7: (8/16/2015):

Opinion piece by former police officer Stephen R. Kramer: 'Only DuBose had criminal intent':
...Police Officer Ray Tensing was hired to patrol the CUF area for the drug dealers, burglars and violent people who have plagued that community for decades. We can assume that he sensed DuBose was one of these. A police officer has to have a pretext to stop and talk to suspected criminals. Tensing found one – the car had only one license plate.

Tensing didn't know it at the time, but he was right! DuBose's records show that he was a drug dealer, burglar and violent person – just what Tensing was hired to look for. He was also illegally driving the car, illegally had drugs for sale, and obviously lying to Tensing at the traffic stop.

In the next few seconds, both made some bad decisions. DuBose illegally failed to comply with Tensing's orders, illegally resisted arrest, and illegally drove off. Tensing reached into the car. DuBose sped up regardless of the danger to Tensing. Both would probably tell you these were the dumbest things either had done in their lives. But only DuBose's actions had criminal intent.
Update 6: (8/4/2015):

Link to Prosecutor Joe Deters' press conference transcript with the erroneous assertions:
...Q: The officer's attorney told us that the officer was dragged. And the incident report suggests that, too. Does the video show that at all?
Deters: No, he wasn't dragged
Q: Was he ever knocked to the ground, from the hood of the car to the ground?
Deters: No, he fell backwards after he shot him in the head...
Update 5: (8/2/2015):

This analysis just published today by Compass Check Consulting Services, LLC is very detailed:



 Updated version of same analysis with more details and questions for the prosecution:

 

Update 4: (8/2/2015):


Another frame-by-frame analysis by 'ScienceMadeEasy' with more details:



Update 3: (8/2/2015):

Link to the original police report: http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/ucomm/docs/incident-report.pdf

Assuming a formal forensic analysis (as called for below) establishes that the Mr. DuBose's car was moving (as CNN reports; see Update 2) while Officer Tensing was holding on to the seat belt (see: Time Mark: 3:16 below), the jury will have an opportunity to assess Tensing's state of mind and the accuracy of his statements to Officer Weibel.

The analysis below may ultimately call into question the prosecutor's indictment and claims by the media (like CNN) that the video does not support Tensing's statements:

...Officer Tensing stated that he was attempting a traffic stop (No front license plate) when, at some point, he began to be dragged by a male black driver who was operating a 1998 Green Honda Accord(OH.GLN6917). Officer Tensing stated that he almost was run over by the driver of the Honda Accord and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon (Sig Sauer P320). Officer Tensing stated that he fired a single shot. Officer Tensing repeated that he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon...
At a minimum, Tensing's defense team may use this as evidence to argue reasonable doubt.

To support the 'state of mind' argument, Officer Tensing is heard  in the video yelling "Stop, Stop".  Consider this:  does someone yell "Stop!, Stop!" to something that's already stopped or something that is moving and they want to get it to stop?

So to be perfectly clear:


  1. Will it be forensically established, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the car was moving before Officer Tensing used his gun.
  2. If (1) is established, did Officer Tensing, who was holding the seat belt (as established by Time Mark 3:16 below) while the car was moving, have a reasonable fear in his mind that he was being dragged; resulting in the use of his firearm to defend himself.  


Update 2: (8/2/2015):

CNN is reporting (with video starting at 0:58) that Sam DuBose's car moved before Officer Ray Tensing fires his gun:
...Frame by frame you see the police officer reach for DuBose's door.  Asks Dubose, who is driving on a suspended license, to remove his seat belt.  DuBose starts the car.  It begins to move. The officer's gun comes out.  He shouts "Stop, Stop". Then the gun shot. The car speeds up. The officer is on the ground.  The gun in front of the camera...
CNN does not analyze the oil stains evidence, as is done below, to show that Officer Tensing was indeed dragged.

Update 1 (8/2/2015):
Food for thought:  
Scared Cop ≠  Bad Cop:

Start of original post (before updates):

On July 29, 2015, Officer Ray Tensing was charged with murder in the July 19, 2015 death of a Sam DuBose.

Officer Ray Tensing has asserted that he was dragged during the incident.  The Huffington Post reports (emphasis added):

...But [Prosecutor] Deters said Wednesday that the video doesn't support that telling of events.

Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head."

The video does appear to support Deters' account that Tensing fell backwards after firing the shot.

In the video, Tensing repeatedly asks DuBose if he has a license. DuBose says he has one and it's not suspended, but he doesn't have it on him.

Tensing then asks DuBose to take his seat belt off. At that point, DuBose appears to put his right hand on the key in the ignition, and it sounds as if his car is starting.

Tensing screams, "Stop! Stop!" before firing his gun at DuBose.

The officer falls backwards onto the ground and then gets up and starts running. There's no clear indication that Tensing was dragged before he shot DuBose...
The following type of analysis and evidence from Officer Tensing's body cam will more than likely be part of the trial and search for justice; for Mr. DuBose, Officer Tensing and the whole Cincinnati community.  Both the death of a fellow citizen and the prosecution of an officer sworn to protect us is a serious matter worthy of thoughtful and fair assessment.   

This initial analysis of the video challenges the reported assertion that "Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head."

In addition, the analysis points the way to determine if there is "clear indication that Tensing was dragged before he shot DuBose".    The analysis shows that an angle made by a line from the license plate of an automobile parked in a driveway to the passenger-side door-release knob becomes more obtuse (gets larger) from the time the car is turned on by Mr. DuBose to the time Officer Tensing fires his gun.

Note:  A formal forensic analysis that accurately accounts for the relative positioning of items noted in this analysis and for the possible body cam fish-eye-like distortion would be required for a definitive conclusion.

Ultimately,  a jury of his peers will determine if Officer Tensing properly feared for his life during the incident, but the jury should have all the facts when an officer's liberty is at stake and a fellow citizen is dead as a result of his actions.

Primary source of evidence: the complete body cam video:




Time Mark: 1:15
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red arrow identifier for the large pole along the fence:
  • Mr. DuBose's is the passenger in the dark car on the far right of the frame.
  • There is no car parked along the fence.   
  • Seven (7) vertical steel fence beams down along the fence is a large pole (see red arrow) which will be referred to later.



Time Mark: 1:25
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows that identify oil stains on the road, the automobile parked in the driveway and a line from the center of the automobile to the passenger-side door-release knob:

  • A small oil stain is located near the driver-side, front wheel of Mr. DuBose's car.
  • Two large oil stains are located several feet down the road in front of Mr. DuBose's car.



Time Mark: 2:06
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red line from the center of the parked automobile in the driveway to the door release knob in Mr. Dubose's car.



Time Mark: 3:15
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with a red line from the center of the automobile parked in the driveway to the door release knob in Mr. DuBose's car.  The approximate angle made by the red lines is 110 degrees.  The 3:15 video mark is approximately 1 second after Mr. Dubose has turned on the car.  Take careful note of how much of the automobile is visible in the area that frames the passenger-side window.



Time Mark: 3:16
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with two red lines that make an angle of approximately 115 degrees.  Note that more of the automobile in the driveway can now be seen within the frame around the passenger-side window.

The formal forensic analysis will have to determine if the effect of seeing more of the automobile in the driveway through the passenger window is a result of:

  • the car moving;
  • Officer Tensing moving to his right;
  • Officer Tensing moving closer to the car; 
  • or any combination of all three dynamics.


Officer Tensing is clearly grabbing Mr. DuBose's seat belt.



Time Mark: 3:17 The moment Mr. DuBose is shot. 
Evidence/Analysis:   Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with two red lines that make an angle of approximately 145 degrees.  Note that the automobile in the driveway can now be completely seen within the frame around the passenger-side window.

The angle made by the red lines has grown from 110 degrees to 145 degrees suggesting that the car has moved.  This possible movement of the car, while Officer Tensing was holding the seat belt, is probably what Officer Tensing reported as being dragged.



Time Mark: 3:19 
Evidence/Analysis:   Officer Tensing and the body camera are now facing the fence beyond the the pole identified in initial frame at video time mark 1:15.  Officer Tensing is on the ground. Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows identifying the pole and a passenger car that may have an additional witness to the incident since that car was not there when the stop was initiated.  Note that it looks like the brake lights on the car are on.



Time Mark: 3:22 Officer Tensing is lifting himself from the ground.
Evidence/Analysis: Two video frames; one unaltered; the second with red arrows identifying the oil marks from video frame above at 1:25.  This is conclusive evidence that Prosecutor Deters' assertion that  "Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing "fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head." is incorrect.

The evidence clearly shows that Officer Tensing was dragged from the location where Mr. DuBose's car was at 1:25 in the video (shown again below for reference) to where Officer Tensing is at 3:22 in the video.




Related:




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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Justice Scalia Blows a Hole the Size of a U.S. "State" in Roberts' King v. Burwell Tortured-Logic

A dissent that will go down in legal history for the strength of its clear logic in contrast to the contortions of logic offered by the majority (emphasis added):
...Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Actwill attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State”means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence.  And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.

I dissent.
By his dissent, Justice Scalia establishes that at least one American has actually read the complete Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).  Take the time to read  his dissent and don't rely on secondary analyses.

Obamacare (now SCOTUScare as Scalia suggests) was built on deceit every step of the way.  Be it:

The deceit is now complete with the majority's King v. Burwell decision.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Designated Hitter

Chatter Chitter, Hashtag Litter
Fatter Fitter, Shame a Quitter

Patter Pitter, Sweet Embitter
Flitter Fritter, Look!; a Critter

Jatter Jitter, Long Hair Splitter
Scatter Skitter, Louse Aglitter

Twatter Twitter, H8 Emitter
Tattered Tethers, Days a Dither

Related:

Monday, June 01, 2015

New evidence emerges on the origins of life

Via Phys.org:
In the beginning, there were simple chemicals. And they produced amino acids that eventually became the proteins necessary to create single cells. And the single cells became plants and animals. Recent research is revealing how the primordial soup created the amino acid building blocks, and there is widespread scientific consensus on the evolution from the first cell into plants and animals. But it's still a mystery how the building blocks were first assembled into the proteins that formed the machinery of all cells. Now, two long-time University of North Carolina scientists - Richard Wolfenden, PhD, and Charles Carter, PhD - have shed new light on the transition from building blocks into life some 4 billion years ago...
Related:

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Towards Accountable Public Service

Paul Singer, USA Today's Politics Editor, was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal recently discussing the Office of Congressional Ethics' probe of ten members of the House of Representatives.  They are accused of accepting an improper trip in 2013 from a state oil company in Azerbaijan.

The topic inspired in me recommendations for accountability in government.  My public service is currently limited to serving on a small community board for homeowners.  But if I ever sought higher office, the following would be part of my platform/promise to my fellow citizens if they were to entrust me to represent them:


  • I promise to be the worst politician and best public servant that will ever represent you.
  • Every conversation that I have in my capacity as your representative will be recorded and made easily available for public review; along with my official schedule.  If an individual or group wants to meet with me in my capacity as a representative and does not agree to have the conversation recorded, I will not speak to them but will consider their issues in writing; which will also be publicly available.

    The only exception will be conversations pertaining to community or national security; as required by law.
  • I will not vote on a piece of legislation unless I have completely read it.
  • I will treat the spending of your money with the same care you took in making it before it was taxed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

John Bursch Uses Porkopolis' Logical Arguments in Supreme Court Case: Obergefell v. Hodges

Background:
  • In November of 2014, the logical argument was made that marriage is not a United States Constitutional legal right.  
  • In October of 2009, the argument was made that a state's recognition of marriage was a tri-party agreement; with financial benefits to the couple being recognized by the state.  That argument was stated in the 6th Circuit DeBoer v. Snyder  opinion.

In his arguments against forcing states to recognize same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, John Bursch (Special Assistant Attorney General for Michigan) used this exact same line of reasoning.   From the hearing's transcript (page 78) (emphasis added):
...In Butler, you said when someone's serving a life sentence, it's appropriate for the State to deny them the opportunity to marry because they never had that opportunity.

So even there, you you were tying the State interest that we're asserting here to marriage. 

And and let let's take away all laws regarding cohabitation and and intimacy outside of marriage so that there is no criminal conduct, the underlay for all those things. 

If the State today decided to have no marriage, as some States have proposed, that wouldn't violate a fundamental right. The fundamental right at stake in those cases was the right to be left alone, not the right, as Chief Justice Roberts intimated in the first part of this argument, to force the government to come into your home and recognize something and and to give you benefits. Those are two very different things. 

And and you can draw the analogy to the abortion context. And I'm reluctant to bring that up, but, you know, in Roe v. Wade and Casey, this Court says the government cannot interfere in that private choice. That's a fundamental right. In Maher, the Court says but a woman cannot force the government to come participate in that by paying for it.

Likewise here. Lawrence said the government cannot interfere in private, intimate conduct. Our position is that the Court cannot, as a constitutional matter, say but yes, you can force the State into these relationships by by forcing them to recognize and give benefits to anyone. That's not the way that our fundamental rights doctrine works....

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Debate: Does the Constitution Require States to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage?:



 See the logical and legal slap downs (video) of the argument against the 'polygamous slippery slope'.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Politics is...

...the compromise of principles by principals.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Must C TV: Former Secretary of State Clinton's Use of Email

C-SPAN has a Judicial Watch panel discussion on Hillary Clinton's email-gate:

 C-SPAN Video Link

Related: Washington Examiner: Feds should have told national archivist of Clinton's private email abuse:
State Department officials who briefed Secretary Hillary Clinton on administrative policies and procedures soon after she took office were obligated to inform her of federal laws and regulations requiring her to use an official email account for government business and to inform the national archivist if they believed she was not doing so thereafter.

"I would say the top career officer in that briefing was obligated to make clear what the law requires and then to contact the national archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration," said American University Professor Daniel Metcalfe Tuesday. "The archivist would then call Hillary Clinton and tell her of the requirements of the law," he said...

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Court Jester Jon Stewart Has No Clothes

In the New York Post opinion piece How Jon Stewart Turned Lies into Comedy and Brainwashed a Generation writer Kyle Smith exposes Jon Stewart for the liar that he is:
...Let’s look at the media reports on Iraq that Stewart is arguing make [Brian] Williams’ untruths pale in comparison. Problem: Those reports were not lies. Journalists trying to figure out whether the war was justified called up credible experts with experience in the field and passed along what they said. As a more honest version of Stewart might say, “Dude. That’s not malfeasance. That’s Re. Por. Ting.”

Stewart added that “it’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to build a machine that kills the truth.” Even the audience of devotees seemed to find this simile baffling.

The idea that “Bush lied” is itself a lazy, ill-informed and false statement.

As Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, essentially nobody in the Washington intelligence community doubted the major report that Iraq had an active WMD program in 2002.

The National Intelligence Estimate delivered to the Senate and President Bush said there was a 90 percent certainty of WMDs. Democrat George Tenet, the Clinton CIA director who continued to serve under Bush, said the case for WMDs was a “slam dunk.”

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Joe Biden all looked at the intelligence and voted to authorize force. Sen. Jay Rockefeller argued strongly for the war. Then, years later, when it wasn’t going so well, he published a highly politicized report ripping Bush.

There is a serious case to be made against the Iraq War, but it’s a lot more complicated than the playground taunt, “Bush lied about WMDs.” (“Hey, I’m a comic, you expect me to do serious? Please welcome our next guest, Henry Kissinger!”)...

...Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.

The "Bush Lied" Lie post provides more documentation of the "lazy, ill-informed" rhetoric Jon Stewart and his ilk foisted on a whole generation along with this:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WSJ Op-Ed on Common Core: Making Math Education Even Worse: American students are already struggling against the competition. The Common Core won't help them succeed.

The WSJ Op-Ed on Common Core everyone should read; by  Marina Ratner who

 ...is professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley. She was awarded the international Ostrowski Prize in 1993 and received the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences, of which she is a member, in 1994.

Excerpt:
...This [Common Core] model-drawing mania went on in my grandson's class for the entire year, leaving no time to cover geometry and other important topics. While model drawing might occasionally be useful, mathematics is not about visual models and "real world" stories. It became clear to me that the Common Core's "deeper" and "more rigorous" standards mean replacing math with some kind of illustrative counting saturated with pictures, diagrams and elaborate word problems. Simple concepts are made artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper—while the actual content taught was primitive... 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Cato Institute: Seven Myths about King v. Burwell

Of the seven myths detailed in Michael Cannon's commentary on  King v. Burwell #3 and #5 are most compelling:

...Myth #3: King is based on “a drafting error.”
The requirement that tax-credit recipients enroll in coverage “through an Exchange added by the State” appears twice explicitly in the tax-credit eligibility rules, and a further seven times by cross-reference. It was added to the text at multiple stages of the legislative process, including under the supervision of Senate leaders and White House staff.
That’s not a drafting error. Not even the Obama administration argues it was....

...Myth #5: Congress intended to offer tax credits in federal exchanges.
The most significant myth to gain currency in these cases, the one that underlies and animates all opposition to thereto, is a theory of congressional intent without any evidentiary basis.
All available contemporaneous evidence points to the conclusion that Congress intended to withhold exchange subsidies in federal exchanges.
Many bills Congress considered in 2009-2010 offered exchange subsidies in all states. Other bills offered exchange subsidies only in states that cooperated on implementation. Some members undoubtedly preferred the former type. The one that passed Congress, however was the latter type. The fact that that was the only bill that could pass Congress means that members voting for the ACA intended to enact this restriction, even if they ideally would have preferred another bill.
The only contemporaneous statement that speaks directly to this question supports the plain meaning of the text. In 2010, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Doggett, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, warned his party’s leaders that even though the ACA provided for federal fallback exchanges, states could still categorically block their residents from receiving “any benefit” under the ACA’s exchange provisions simply by refusing to establish an exchange. The other ten Texas Democrats in the House of Representatives joined Doggett’s warning. All eleven would later vote to enact the ACA without modification to that feature.
Meanwhile, despite three years of searching for contemporaneous evidence that any member of Congress intended for the ACA to offer tax credits in federal exchanges, the government has come up empty.
It is not material that ACA authors Max Baucus, Tom Harkin, and Harry Reid now claim they intended for the law to offer subsidies through federal exchanges. These claims came only post-enactment, after the contrary statutory language proved to be a political liability. Nor is it material that Sander Levin, George Miller, Nancy Pelosi, and Henry Waxman say the same, because they played no role in the ACA’s drafting. What’s more, each of these members of Congress also claimedthat if you like your health plan, the ACA lets you keep it – thus demonstrating either (A) they do not understand the law, or (B) they are willing to lie to protect it.
In the face of contemporaneous evidence to the contrary and the absence of any contemporaneous support, the theory that Congress intended the ACA to offer tax credits in federal exchanges appears to be a post hoc fabrication...

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