Rush to judgment:
Samuel DuBose shot dead and the state says it was not justified, but that doesn't make Dubose any less dead.
On the video, Officer Tensing repeatedly asks Mr. DuBose to produce a driver’s license. Mr. Dubose says several times that he has one, before acknowledging that it is not with him.
He says that he has the missing license plate with him, and explains in the glove box.
At one point, the Officer asks, “What’s that bottle on the floor?”
Mr. DuBose reaches down, picks up a bottle of gin and hands it to the Officer.
Officer Tensing starts to open the driver’s door and tells Mr. DuBose to remove his seatbelt;
Mr. DuBose is heard saying "I didn't even do nothing"
Mr. DuBose then pulls the door closed again and starts his car.
What happens next is a flurry of blurred movements: The officer steps to his left; the engine can be heard revving; the officer reaches into the car with his left hand; he yells “stop” twice; he draws his gun with his right hand and fires once; and then he appears to fall backward.
CP's Take: at this point a couple of things come to mind.
First the quality of the body camera is a big concern. Even slowed down all we see are blurred movements.
Second, Dubose has gone from a calm traffic stop to a threat in just a few 1/10ths of a second.
Finally, Officer Tensing had every right to pull his weapon when Dubose started his car.
Why he pulled the trigger one can only guess.
I'd imagine he was shocked, stunned and surprised with the rapid change of direction in the encounter. Scared and instinctively pulled the trigger. If that's the case its not murder it is poor training.
Also consider the fact. that the car drove off with Dubose apparently dead, which means Dubose had not only started the car but put it in gear.
Does the threat level reach that of deadly force, maybe not but it certainly doesn't warrant a murder charge.
Yet USA Today reported the events like this:
Tensing asks DuBose where he lives.
"Right around the corner," DuBose says.
"Go ahead and take your seat belt off," Tensing says.
"I didn't even do nothing," Dubose says.
DuBose leans toward the passenger seat.
Without a word, Tensing fires a single shot.
DuBose slumps into the passenger seat.
The car rolls a short distance, stopping at the corner.
Tensing runs after the car.
He looks inside where DuBose is dead.
So why the disparity in reporting? USA Today makes no mention of the car starting or Tensing telling him to stop.
Why is Prosecutor Detts grand standing? Using vitriolic phrases like "asinine", "chicken shit" and saying of Tensing "he should have never been a police officer"
Clearly Tensing lied saying he was dragged. In the short term fog of just after the shooting he may not have even known his own name. That's why you never talk to investigators.