Bottle in car of black man shot dead by Ohio police officer held fragrance, not alcohol: Coroner

An impromptu memorial for Samuel Dubose is posted near the crime scene in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 30, 2015.
An impromptu memorial for Samuel Dubose is posted near the crime scene in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 30, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS
A grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in Mr DuBose's death.
A grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in Mr DuBose's death. PHOTO: AFP

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters) - The coroner investigating the death of Mr Samuel DuBose, who was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer earlier this month, said on Monday that a bottle found in his car marked as gin held fragrance, not an alcoholic beverage.

The substance in the bottle was "consistent with compounds commonly found in fragrance products, such as air fresheners and perfumes", said a statement from the office of Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco.

Mr DuBose was pulled over by police officer Raymond Tensing on July 19 because the vehicle he was driving did not have a front license plate. Footage from Tensing's body camera showed the officer noticed a bottle on the floor of the car. Mr DuBose handed him the bottle, marked as gin, and told him it was air freshener.

About a minute later, the two men struggled after Mr DuBose, 43, refused Tensing's request to step out of the car. Tensing reached into the car with his weapon and fatally shot Mr DuBose in the head.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in Mr DuBose's death. The university fired Tensing, who has appealed to be reinstated.

Mr Justin Weber, an investigator with the coroner's office, said no other findings, including whether Mr DuBose was drinking, would be released until the investigation was finished.

Also on Monday, Mrs Audrey DuBose, the mother of Mr DuBose, has asked a judge to allow her to oversee his interests in a wrongful death claim, according to her attorney's office.