On February 16, 2015 Former officer Stewart Ferrin resigned from the ASU Police Department. Furthermore, an independent investigation showed that Ferrin had no reasonable basis for arresting the professor for obstructing a road when she was walking down the street, and he wrongfully arrested her for refusing to provide ID. Click Here to read the full story from The Arizona Republic.
On August 1, ASU professor Ersula Ore was sentenced to nine months supervised probation for her misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. PhxSoul.com will continue to explore the status of the investigation on Officer Stewart Ferrin.
UPDATE: ASU professor Ersula Ore pleaded guilty on July 9 to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. Source tells PhxSoul.com that her lawyers got other charges dismissed including aggravated assault, criminal damage, failure to show ID and jaywalking (obstructing a thoroughfare).
Originally written on June 29, 2014
I’ve watched the video of Arizona State University professor Dr. Ersula Ore in her May 20 scuffle with ASU police officers. Watched it about 10 times.
Each time I watch the video I say the same thing out loud, “This is bad, this is really bad.”
A little background … ASU Officer Stewart Ferrin stopped Dr. Ore near campus after he observed her crossing College Avenue, just south of Fifth Street in Tempe. The area is a construction zone and many students and ASU staff members knowingly cross that street on a daily basis – outside of the designated crosswalks. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying a lot of people do it. I’ve even done it.
But on May 20, Officer Ferrin decided that Dr. Ore wasn’t going to get away with it. Did the fact that Dr. Ore is a Black female have any influence on Ferrin’s reasons for approaching her? It’s hard to say but it is VERY curious.
Officer Ferrin informed Dr. Ore why he was stopping her and he seemed to be talking to her in a reasonable manner. He wasn’t yelling, didn’t have his gun out, he just asked for her ID … over and over and over.
Dr. Ore wouldn’t comply at all and wasn’t as friendly with him.
Why couldn’t she just give the officer her ID? After all, she was breaking the law by jaywalking (allegedly). She probably would have received a ticket and they both would have parted ways.
Maybe she was intimidated because she’s heard a lot of bad things about Arizona cops. And in that situation she is being confronted by two white male cops – Ferrin’s back-up joined in – who appeared to be singling her out because she was Black. That had to be really scary for Dr. Ore.
But she’s obviously an educated woman … why couldn’t she give the officer her ID and THEN explain her case?! The very fact that she’s in Arizona should give her incentive to get out of that situation as quickly and safely as possible and live to fight another day! She could have argued her case after receiving her citation!
But noooo, she kept talking and arguing and then things got physical. Crazy physical! During her fight with the ASU officer slammed her to the ground, her dress was hiked up and her body was exposed. That makes me ill – a black woman fighting against two white cops by herself. Damn, that’s unfair!
I have to ask Officer Ferrin … why did you have to put your hands on her … over a potential charge of obstructing a thoroughfare?
I know he asked for her ID multiple times but this wasn’t a murder charge – it was jaywalking! It was more about ego and respect at this point and he wanted to show her who was boss!
Over a jaywalking charge!
Bro … just walk away! You made your point. You were tired of seeing people break the law on that street. What about calling a female officer for backup?
Now, you’re going to be the target of a lot of media and racial scrutiny. You’re going to be another example of Arizona officers who want to make life miserable for minorities here.
Sometimes you just have to walk away and live to fight another day.
Ultimately, I think this whole incident was a perfect storm of two people who were mad because they felt like they were being disrespected. Maybe they had a bad day before this whole ordeal happened. It was ugly, embarrassing and totally unnecessary.
As this incident gains more notoriety, things are going to get worse for Dr. Ore and Officer Ferrin.
In addition to the obstructing a thoroughfare charge, Dr. Ore was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer (for the kicking accusation) and criminal damage.
Conversely, you can bet that Dr. Ore will be filing her own lawsuits. She made it known in the raw video.
Can President Obama just come to ASU and host another beer summit like he did for Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley a few years ago?