Professor Ersula Ore Arrest to be Reviewed by ASU and Outside Agency After Video Goes Viral
Are you serious?
Image: YouTube ASU Assistant Professor Ersula Ore is taken to the ground by an ASU police officer in her May 20 arrest.
Police dash-cam video of the action-packed, May 20 arrest of Ersula Jawanna Ore, a 33-year-old rhetoric and English assistant professor at Arizona State University, has gone viral, feeding claims of racism and police brutality.
As publicity grows along with an accompanying firestorm of criticism leveled at ASU, the university announced that the use of force and initial confrontation by an ASU police officer will be reviewed.
Sunday's late announcement by ASU, provided to the Huffington Post, comes as the book is already being thrown at Ore by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who is prosecuting the assistant professor on three misdemeanors and one felony count of aggravated assault related to the incident.
The police video, obtained by Channel 3 (KTVK-TV) on June 27 and subsequently posted on various Internet sites, makes neither the arresting officer nor Ore look good.
Stewart Ferrin, a rookie officer with ASU Police, worked as a police dispatcher with his stepmom at the department as recently as 2012. He's wanted to be a cop his whole life; his dad, John Ferrin, is a retired Tempe officer. Now the younger Ferrin has broken onto the world social-media and news scene with video of him roughing up a black woman who had committed the sin of failing to follow his orders.
But Ore's the star of the video, proving embarrassingly that her mastery of rhetoric has its limits. Ore's a former Penn State instructor who's done research into "the circulation of lynching photography and its place in contemporary American discourse." Her next paper can be about her own experience in a modern, albeit figurative iteration of "lynching photography." It would have plenty of readers, judging from the headlines and rhetoric from some Internet sites about Ore's take-down and arrest.
"Arizona State University Police Arrest Black Female Professor For Jaywalking," says the headline on a story in Uptownmagazine.com, followed by an article that begins, "In another eyebrow-raising incident out of Arizona..."
"Newly Surfaced Dash Cam Video Captures Police Brutality at Its Worst," is the headline in news round-up site mic.com.
No one likes to be told what to do, but the video shows Ore was nothing like compliant. That may be admirable in a GTA5 sense, but it isn't entirely reasonable. Common sense dictates that if cops are bullying you, don't bother resisting -- they always win that battle. You and lawyer can deal with any alleged civil-rights violation later, if that's how you want to play it.
Ersula Ore's police mug shot
But Ore made her decision to throw down with Ferrin. She's fighting the charges of resisting arrest, obstructing a road, refusing to give her name to a police officer and aggravated assault, court records show. She's started a website and defense fund. The video seems to have infused her defense with public support, and that could help with her most pressing problem: keeping her job.
ASU officials, after first saying that ASU police appeared to have acted appropriately, released the second statement late Sunday night mentioning the pending review of the incident. The statement also reveals, apparently for the first time, that police allege a patrol car "nearly hit" Ore as she stood in the middle of College Avenue near Fifth Street.
See below for ASU's latest statement and the dash-cam video as rebroadcast on YouTube: