- Associated Press - Saturday, August 8, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - The family of the University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed motorist after a traffic stop says he felt he needed to protect himself.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (https://cin.ci/1K9W0AX ) that Ray Tensing’s family wrote a letter to the newspaper that it received late Friday. Tensing’s attorney Stewart Mathews confirmed the letter came from the family but declined further comment.

The since-fired 25-year-old officer has pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. His attorney has said Tensing feared he would be dragged under the car as DuBose attempted to drive away July 19.

The letter states that Tensing and his family are “grieving deeply and praying” for DuBose’s family.

“Ray believes that once the community learns all of the facts of this incident, the community will have a better understanding of what happened, and why he felt that he needed to protect himself,” the letter states.

DuBose’s family has said he didn’t do anything to warrant being shot after he was stopped for missing a front license plate. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, when announcing the murder indictment, called it a “chicken crap” traffic stop and sharply criticized Tensing.

The white officer’s shooting of the unarmed black man came amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. But authorities haven’t focused on race as a factor in this death.

Tensing was released under $1 million bond. A pretrial conference is scheduled Aug. 19.

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