Morning News: Tensing jury chosen; Clinton to FBI in Cincy: bring it; Ohio sends state troopers to Standing Rock

The jury for the trial against former UCPD officer Tensing, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose, includes four white women, two black women and six white men. Four alternate jurors are also white women.

Nov 1, 2016 at 11:42 am
Hamilton County courthouse
Hamilton County courthouse

Good morning all. There’s a lot going on today so let’s get right to it.

After just one day of jury questioning in the Ray Tensing trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys chose the final 12 jurors and four alternates yesterday. The jury for the trial against former UCPD officer Tensing, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose, includes four white women, two black women and six white men. The four alternate jurors are also white women. The jury is about 16 percent black in a county that is 26 percent black and a city that is 46 percent black, and no black men were selected for the trial, which is about the murder of a black man at the hands of a white police officer. That’s caused deep consternation among racial justice advocates, including those involved in Cincinnati Black Lives Matter. That group, along with several faith leaders, has been protesting outside the Hamilton County courthouse.

• Tensing’s trial continues today with a tour of the scene of DuBose’s death in Mount Auburn. Interestingly, a memorial to DuBose which was still standing as late as Sunday afternoon (personal aside: the site is on my way home from Findlay Market and I saw the memorial there late this weekend) has been cleared out, as you can see in this picture. Following a tour of the site, jurors will hear opening statements from the prosecution and defense today.

• Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came to Cincinnati yesterday, and against the setting sun and the picturesque Roebling Bridge, she basically said “bring it” to the FBI. Clinton, responding to a recent letter by FBI director James Comey revealing that the agency has re-opened an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, said the bureau is more than welcome to check out her emails, though she blasted the timing of Comey’s letter as politically motivated. Comey announced last week that a new cache of emails between Clinton and top aid Huma Abedin had been discovered as the FBI investigated Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner for allegedly sexting an underage girl. Gross. FBI officials have said it’s unclear if the emails contain anything related to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State or really have anything to do with the candidate at all. Anyway, Clinton and other speakers at the event, including former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, also urged attendees to get out and vote early and to spread the word about Clinton.

• Hey, you know that building downtown that looks like an enormous, seven-story brick made of smaller bricks? Yeah, the former Plaza Hotel… that’s the one. After a long stretch sitting mostly empty, it’s for sale. So if you’re a nefarious super villain who has ever wanted an amazing, windowless downtown bunker of your very own, here’s your chance.

• WEBN has a pretty odd photo on its Facebook page now, and some people are upset. The local Rock radio station took some time off from playing its 1 millionth round of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” or something to post an image of Western Hills High School’s sign with the words “Our Girls Put Out” photoshopped onto it. That’s… pretty messed up on multiple levels, and a number of Facebook commenters have already let the station know. As of lunchtime Tuesday, the photo remains up, however.

• Did you know your Ohio tax dollars are going toward the salaries and travel expenses of 37 Ohio State Highway Patrolmen who Ohio Gov. John Kasich has sent to back up law enforcement efforts in Standing Rock, North Dakota? Thousands of native people and their advocates have been camping there for weeks to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which neighboring Sioux groups say could ruin water supplies in the area if it leaks or explodes. The pipeline was originally routed near more populous parts of the state not occupied by Native Americans, but pushback from those communities led the companies building the pipeline to route it through native lands. That’s caused staunch protests from local and national native groups, which have been met with some intense response — including use of dogs and tear gas — by law enforcement. Now, Ohio officers are joining the fray. Great. A local protest of Ohio’s involvement in the law enforcement actions at Standing Rock is planned for Wednesday at 8 a.m. in front of City Hall.