Read the PDF of our staement here

LDF Statement on Mistrial of Former University of Cincinnati Police Officer for Samuel DuBose’s Death

Today, a jury failed to reach a verdict in the retrial of former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing for fatally shooting Samuel DuBose, an unarmed Black man, in the head during a vehicle stop in July 2015.  NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement in response:

“While we are gravely disappointed that a jury, yet again, was unable to reach a unanimous decision, it is important to remember that a mistrial is not an acquittal.  We echo the request of Mr. DuBose’s family that the Hamilton County Prosecutor retry this case again.

“Beyond this prosecution, we also recognize that the policing problems that plague Cincinnati, and the rest of our nation, will not be solved by the conviction of any one officer.  The University of Cincinnati has hired an outside firm to conduct a thorough review of their policies and practices, and monitor implementation of the recommendations. We hope that police departments around the country will not wait for a tragedy to carefully examine their policies and practices to ensure they’re in accordance with the law.

“During this time, our thoughts are with Mr. DuBose’s family and friends.  They’ve mourned a loss that no one should be forced to endure, and have persevered with exceptional strength throughout this ordeal.

“These last few weeks have reinforced how much work there’s still left to do, but we will not stop fighting for policing reform and the elimination of racially-biased policing until each and every Black American is truly afforded equal protection under the law.” 


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.