An Ohio jury is on its way to view the scene where the fatal police shooting of Sam DuBose occurred.
Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan has instructed jurors not to consider what they see to be evidence. She says conditions might have changed at the spot where DuBose was killed in 2015, after a traffic stop near the University of Cincinnati campus.
Shanahan says their trip’s purpose is to help them understand the evidence as it is presented in the courtroom.
The jurors who were selected Monday are going by bus, with opening statements to begin back in the courtroom afterward in the trial of 26-year-old Ray Tensing.
Shanahan rejected a defense motion Tuesday to move the trial out of Hamilton County.
Civil rights activists are criticizing the racial makeup of the jury seated for the murder trial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man.
The Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati group posted a message on its Facebook page stating that the jury seated shows a justice system that “continues to refuse to recognize the prejudices and racism” in existence. Members of the group plan to keep up demonstrations outside the Hamilton County courthouse during Ray Tensing’s trial.
Two blacks, both women, were seated Monday for the 12-person jury that has six white men and four white women. Four white females were selected as the alternates. The 2010 U.S. Census put Cincinnati’s black population at nearly 45 percent of the city’s total.
The since-fired officer has pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter counts in the 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose.
A jury of two black women, four white women and six white men was seated on Monday. Four white women were added as alternate jurors after a day of questioning by attorneys who urged jury candidates to put aside race, news stories and police perceptions for the case of the now-fired officer.
Photo: Sam DuBose, AP