A judge set a $1 million bond at an arraignment hearing on Thursday for a former University of Cincinnati campus police officer charged with the murder of an unarmed black man he had stopped for a missing license plate.
Ray Tensing, 25, entered a plea of not guilty at the hearing before Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan.
Tensing's body camera showed his handgun drawn after driver Samuel Dubose was pulled over and shot during a traffic stop in Cincinnati, Ohio July 19.
The fired cop was indicted Wednesday on murder charges for the fatal shooting.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters called the July 19 death of Samuel Dubose, 43, "senseless" and "totally unwarranted."
Tensing shot Dubose in the head, Deters noted.
He "wasn't dealing with someone who was wanted for murder ... He was dealing with someone who didn't have a front license plate. This is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken crap stop."
The incident was the latest in a series of fatal police confrontations across the United States that have raised questions about police use of force against minorities.
Cincinnati officials braced for possible unrest after the announcement of the grand jury's decision and the university shut in case of protests.
A body camera video that Deters played for reporters showed Tensing stopped Dubose for a missing front license plate. Dubose failed to provide a driver's license as Tensing requested, then tried to prevent Tensing, who told Dubose to take his seat belt off, from opening the car door.
The car started slowly rolling forward as Tensing reached in and yelled for him to stop. The officer then pulled his gun and fired once, killing Dubose.
Deters said Tensing was not dragged by the car, as the officer had reported, but instead he fell backwards after shooting Dubose in the head. Deters said Tensing should have let Dubose drive away as he had his license plate number already.
"I've been doing this for 30 years," Deters said after meeting with Dubose's family. "This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make, totally unwarranted."
Tensing "should never have been a police officer," he said without elaborating.
Audrey Dubose, the victim's mother, praised the indictment.
"I'm so thankful that everything was uncovered," she told reporters. "I thought it was going to be covered up."