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University of Cincinnati paying Ray Tensing more than $300K in back pay, legal fees

The University of Cincinnati will pay former UC police officer Ray Tensing more than $244,000 in back pay and $100,000 in legal fees, the university president wrote Thursday, reports WCPO-TV.

Tensing was the police officer who shot and killed Sam DuBose during a traffic stop in 2015. 

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Tensing brought a contractual grievance to the university regarding his termination, according to UC President Neville Pinto. UC and Tensing resolved the agreement, resulting in the $244,230 in back pay and benefits for Tensing and $100,000 for his legal fees. In return, he agreed to resign his position as a university law enforcement officer and to never return to employment at UC. 

"I realize this agreement will be difficult for our community," Neville wrote in a letter announcing the agreement. "I am nevertheless hopeful that we can focus on supporting each other as members of the same Bearcat family — even, perhaps especially, if we don’t agree." 

The case prompted Black Lives Matter Cincinnati and other groups to organize marches and rallies as the community waited to hear if Tensing would face charges and, later, what jurors would decide. 

"The tragic loss of Samuel Dubose in July 2015 was a trying time in the life of our University," Pinto wrote. "Our community came together to mourn, listen, support, heal and hope. That work continues as we strive to live our values into action." 

Authorities charged Tensing with murder and voluntary manslaughter in DuBose's death. However, two juries were unable to reach a unanimous verdict, prompting a judge to declare two mistrials in the case before the charges were dropped.

After DuBose's death, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters had dismissed Tensing's reason for stopping DuBose off campus -- a missing front license plate -- calling it a "chicken-crap stop." He also said Tensing "should never have been a police officer." 

But after the trials, Deters lamented that the jurors would have not voted to convict a police officer, blaming division in the U.S. over race and police issues. He called the case "heartbreaking."

The shooting prompted a top-to-bottom review of the University of Cincinnati Police Department. That review brought new training for officers in techniques like de-escalation, changes in their best practices like arming officers with Tasers and a turnover in leadership, including the hiring of the department's first female chief earlier this year. 

Pinto wrote Thursday that UC is still "making meaningful progress with the voluntary police reforms we initiated with the input and engagement of the broader community.

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