Good morning all. Here’s a brief news rundown.
The trial of Ray Tensing continues today with testimony from the Cincinnati Police detective who interviewed the former University of Cincinnati officer following the shooting death of Samuel DuBose and a frame-by-frame analysis of Tensing’s body camera footage by video forensics expert Grant Fredericks. CPD Sergeant Shannon Heine interviewed Tensing two days after the shooting, and that interview was played for the jury. Tensing was allowed to view his body camera footage before that interview per a clause in his union contract, according to Heine’s testimony.
The video analysis showed that Tensing fired his weapon before DuBose’s car had moved significantly, that Tensing’s arm was not caught in the car’s steering wheel, as he claimed, and that the reflection of his legs in the car’s door show he was clear of the car one second before shooting DuBose.
Jurors also heard from eyewitness Alicia Napier, who contradicted the testimony of two UCPD officers who were also at the scene. UCPD’s David Lindenschmidt and Phillip Kidd said they heard tires squealing before the single gunshot that killed DuBose. In the body camera footage, Kidd is heard saying he saw Tensing being dragged by DuBose’s car, a statement he later amended, saying he did not see the incident but only heard the tire squealing. Both Kidd and Lindenschmidt testified yesterday.
• More drama is afoot for the Cincinnati Park Board. The head of the city’s procurement department says that four contracts signed by the Board violate city policy. Late last month, the Board voted to award contracts to companies Crabbe Brown & James, Hanka Advisors, LLC, JD2 Strategist and One Man Genie. The latter two are not registered with the city, according to Chief Procurement Officer Patrick Duhaney, and it’s unclear if they’re authorized by Ohio to do business here. Duhaney fired off a letter to City Manager Harry Black yesterday stating his concerns. It’s the latest in a long line of tussles over financial oversight between the Board and the city — yesterday we told you about a separate fight over funds from a private foundation set up to support the Park Board. The city would like to be able to exercise greater oversight over how those funds are spent, a move the Park Board is attempting to resist.
• Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, a Democrat, is asking County Prosecutor Joe Deters to look into the recent reassignment of a high-level employee at the County Clerk’s office. That request comes after CityBeat reporting on questionable email campaign activity in that office. Former Chief Deputy Bailiff Dale Robinson was reprimanded last month for sending emails asking employees to campaign for Clerk of Courts Tracy Winkler following a CityBeat story on those emails. The tone of the emails was fairly strident, and critics say Robinson was not clear that volunteering was optional. Two weeks after his reprimand, Robinson was re-assigned to another job with the same salary — about $70,000 — in the office’s Public Safety Division, where he will oversee a joint city-county parking ticket program. Portune is concerned about the budgetary implications of that assignment, and also questioned whether the job was listed so those inside and outside the Clerk’s office could also apply for it.
• Are you tired of politics yet? Well, there’s another heaping helping coming our way before it’s all over. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will appear at the University of Cincinnati today to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Her opponent Donald Trump will drop by Wilmington, just northeast of Cincinnati, tomorrow. Clinton herself will make an appearance in Cleveland, appearing with rap legend Jay Z, the same day, and will return to Cleveland again Sunday. Phew. It’s almost over, folks, I promise. The visits come as candidates make their last-minute bids for swing state Ohio, which polls show is currently still up for grabs.
• Finally, would you vote for a candidate if you got some free tater tots? Or maybe mashed potatoes? Or seasonal vegetables if you’re watching what you eat? Well, candidates aren’t really supposed to promise you things like that, but one Newport City Commission candidate kind of did, and now she’s in trouble. Rachel Comte, a first-time candidate, sent out a mailer that included, kind of hilariously, a coupon for a free side at local restaurant Webb’s BBQ. That’s against the law in Kentucky. Oops. The candidate says the state chastised her for the misstep but wont’ take further action as long as she doesn’t do it again. If you’re gonna do something like this, at least offer people a full entrée for their vote, or at least the appetizer sampler. Telling folks their vote is worth $1.99 worth of potatoes is kinda harsh.