CINCINNATI – A bottle held up by a motorist during a traffic stop before he was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer apparently contained a fragrance, not alcohol, a coroner said Monday.
Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said in a statement that lab analysis found compounds consistent with those commonly found in air fresheners or perfumes.
UC police had said after the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose that he produced a bottle of alcohol during the traffic stop. A police body camera video released last week showed the bottle he picked up from his car floor appeared to be labeled as gin. Officer Ray Tensing had asked about the bottle while questioning DuBose after stopping him for not having a front license plate.
Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter after his indictment last week. He thought he was going to be dragged under the car and "feared for his life," according to his attorney.
Sammarco earlier concluded that DuBose, 43, died from a gunshot wound to his head.
Her office said tests and analysis of evidence in the case are continuing. Court documents filed on Monday said DuBose's family created an estate for him in Hamilton County Probate Court in preparation for a possible wrongful-death claim.
Meanwhile, a Cincinnati City Council committee voted Monday to suspend an agreement with UC allowing officers there to patrol city streets. DuBose was stopped off campus. The issue will go before the full council later this week.
The university has fired Tensing, 25.