image_previewAn Arizona State University professor is facing felony charges after authorities allege she assaulted an officer during a confrontation with police. But newly released video of the incident has raised concerns about the officers’ behavior.

ASU police officer Stewart Ferrin claims he stopped Dr. Ersula Ore for illegally crossing the street. When he accosted the professor she pointed to nearby construction and informed officers that she crossed in the middle of the street because of the roadwork—like several others. Officer Ferrin then asked for her ID and threatened to arrest Ore if she didn’t produce it, that’s when things quickly escalated and the entire confrontation was caught on tape.

“I never once saw a single solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a street on a campus, in a campus location. Everybody has been doing this because it is all obstructed. That’s the reason why,” Ore told the officer. “But you stop me in the middle of the street to pull me over and ask me, ‘Do you know what this is? This is a street.’”

“Are you aware that this is a street?” the officer asked Ore.

“Let me finish,” she replied.

“OK, put your hands behind your back,” Officer Ferrin said.

After Ore refused to be handcuffed the situation got worse. Officer Ferrin slammed her to the ground, causing her dress to rise up and her body to be exposed. When he picked her up off the ground, her skirt was hiked up, and as the officer reached toward it, Ore kicked him.

Ore’s lawyer, Alane Roby, said the professor was acting in self-defense.

“She was exposed, told officer she was exposed,” Roby said. “Her dress was up; the officer was reaching toward her anatomy. She felt uncomfortable with hands going there.”

ASU released a statement saying the officers’ actions were justified.

“ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken.

“Because the underlying criminal charges are pending, there is not much more we can say at this time. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare.”

Ore was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal damage, and obstructing a thoroughfare.

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  • Tron

    I do not see any evidence of racism here. She was pissed, argumentative, and uncooperative. She is a university professor and should have known better. Cops do not interpret the law. Courts do. All she had to do is show the cop her ID. She could have complained or contested the ticket later. Please do not insert racism where it does not exist because that, in and of itself, is racism.

  • You seem to have me confused with someone who thinks this is an awesome use of police authority. I am not saying that. I don’t think that. What I think is that the rules are such that she had to give her ID, and not giving ID there, that gave that officer a whole seperate reason to arrest her. As did kicking him. It was a tactical error, and if he was a racist, it played right into his hands.

    It is not a question of morality at all. But on the subject of morality, being right about one thing doesn’t make you right about everything else automatically. And it certianly doesn’t work that way in our justice system. Wrongly arrested, but you want to not comply with the court? They’re going to hold you in contempt. Wrongfully jailed, and you want to kick your jailer and try to escape? You’re staying in jail, even if you get your name cleared. It’s not like evidence. Evience can get thrown out by a BS stop. Doing a completely different crime is doing a completely different crime and you will end up in hot water, if you decide to go that route.

    Anyway, it’s not like showing ID is a bad rule. It isn’t. You should have to identify yourself if the cop is mistaken about what he saw. You should have to identify yourself if the cop is correct about what he saw, but isn’t understanding the perfectly valid reasons why you would break the law. Being innocent doesn’t give you carte blanche to say, cuss out a judge. You can still be held in contempt, even if you’re found innocent. Hell even prosecutor can go to jail for talking out of turn (if he’s warned to shut up). Once you’re sucked into that system, there are rules. It doens’t matter how you ended up in the procedure. You can’t go full cowboy and expect good things to happen. I mean, you’re welcome to try it. But boy are you not going to like what happens!

    I mean, btw it’s not as if the reasons for having rules about showing ID are bad rules. They must have to have a good idea of who you are to ticket you. Otherwise they have to take you in to verify your identity, so you can’t give a fake name, or the name of your neighbor who borrowed and broke your lawnmower. I prefer that hte cops have the option of giving me a fine rather than hauling me into jail. Having to show ID isn’t really that bad. What’s bad is having racist police. But that’s something you need to remedy earlier, by not hiring racist police, or later, by getting them fired. In between those times, you really should play by the rules.

    Again, feel free to do whatever you want if you’re stopped. But if you want to deny what reality is, just because it sucks, you’re only going to end up in progressively worse realities as time goes on. That’s the world we live in. Kick a cop at a wrongful stop? You go to jail. Kick a jailer while in jail for a wrongful conviction? You’re staying in jail, even if it gets overturned.

    Again, not saying the cop is right. I’m saying you shouldn’t make bad decisions for yourself because the cop is wrong.