Two Top-Ranking ASU PD Officials Leave Positions Following Ersula Ore Controversy

Categories: ASU

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A second high-ranking Arizona State University police department official is stepping down unexpectedly following a backlash over the arrest of assistant professor Ersula Ore.

Another email that surfaced on a blog by people disgruntled with ASU police confirms that Assistant Chief James Hardina is leaving this week. ASU Police Chief John Pickens is also leaving his position, moving into another university position. Both departures come as one of their officers, Stewart Ferrin, is being scrutinized by the FBI at the request of ASU.

See also:
-Ersula Ore Arrest to be Reviewed by ASU and Outside Agency After Video Goes Viral

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asu.edu
James Hardina
The new email, this one from Michael Thompson, acting police chief as of today, was sent to ASU police personnel. It states that Assistant Chief Hardina has decided to retire after 22 years in law enforcement in order to pursue his business interests. Thompson ties Hardina's departure to the fact that Pickens is leaving early, something that still hasn't been fully explained by ASU officials.

"With the current transition of leadership within the department, Jim decided this was the best time for a career change," Thompson's email states.

(Note: The email, as published, was edited by the Integrity Blog to include some biting insults and criticism of Hardina, conveniently highlighted in red to distinguish it from Hardina's words.)

Whether connected to Ore or not, the fact that Hardina sees the need to leave now starts to sound like an unplanned leadership meltdown at ASU PD.

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John Pickens
And really, the timing of these departures is suspicious. ASU has been dealing with a firestorm in the last couple of weeks, since a video of Ore's May 20 violent, jaywalking-related arrest went viral, causing a national controversy. According to a June news release by ASU, Pickens was supposed to be staying in his position until the completion of a national search. But it didn't happen that way.

ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told us this morning that she didn't know why Pickens was leaving, but "someone" had told her that Pickens "had" to take his annual leave. She declined to clarify the comment, other than to say Pickens wasn't "forced" to take his leave. Newberg tells New Times the departures are "unrelated" to the controversy.

At about 2 p.m. today, Newberg confirmed the news about Hardina and issued a longer response on the departures. As you'll see, though, the response doesn't explain everything:

"Both Chief John Pickens and Assistant Chief Jim Hardina decided to pursue other opportunities in their careers before the arrest of ASU Assistant Professor Ersula Ore.

"As announced last month, Arizona State University Police Department Chief John Pickens is transitioning to a new job at the university as Executive Director of University Security Initiatives after serving as chief for 14 years. Pickens will oversee expansion of the university's video security system and other emerging public safety technologies, assist the Office of Emergency Preparedness and lead security planning for the Sun Devil Stadium project.

"Assistant Chief Jim Hardina is retiring after 22 years of service in law enforcement. Hardina will pursue business interests and further his career in ultra-endurance sport training, promotion and competing. He joined the ASU Police Department in May of 2000 as an officer and was promoted through the ranks to assistant chief in July of 2012.

"Assistant Chief Michael Thompson has been named acting police chief while a national search for a new chief is underway. Thompson served the Mesa Police Department with distinction for more than 20 years. He has a bachelor's degree in education and two master's degrees, one in education and one in administration. He has provided ASUPD leadership as a commander over patrol at the ASU West campus, and commander and then Assistant Chief at the Tempe campus."

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411 comments
johnsmith123
johnsmith123

Axing Pickens is clearly racially motivated. 

Matt Barton
Matt Barton

Requesting a supervisor is also an excellent choice.

Amelia Phillips
Amelia Phillips

Way over reacted IMHO ... I would be out for blood they did that to me over walking down the street ...

Daniel Gross
Daniel Gross

Red state racists. The Mormons blatantly discriminated against black people for decades.

Slappy
Slappy

Police officer's first weapon in their arsenal is their interpersonal communication skills with the public.An officer should always use the minimal amount of force to resolve the matter.Nowadays, talking back or questioning the lawfulness of their actions will get you tazed.

Once tazed and on the ground, police officers will descend on their victims and begin punching all while saying "Stop Resisting".

Stop resisting is a technique used as a defense in the event police are captured on video beating the crap out of someone.If you cannot stand someone questioning your decisions, or authority-you should not be a police officer.

No, I have never been arrested, nor do I have a criminal record.

rh19541954
rh19541954

The white supremacist in Arizona will no doubt cry, whine till the cows come home, as they always do when one their good ole boys crosses the line! Its no coincidence that one of the most notorious domestic terrorists in American History had his bunker in Mohave County where him and his pal planned and plotted Oklahoma City bombing, no mere coincidence that the rogue minute man named Bush now on death row, after murdering a 9 year old Hispanic girl and her father fled to Mohave County where he sought aid and comfort from his pals in the Minute Man movement, of course he was arrested since that movement is infiltrated by the FBI, thank god we keep tabs on these lunatics! We did miss McVeigh's plot but he ended up on death row where he met his maker, guess only him and god knows which way he went! Arizona has become a magnet for the social misfits from all over the USA dreaming of their race wars, revolutions against government! The good thing is these lunatics are mostly hot air and false bravado, the ones who do act violently in the end harm themselves as well! And are a minority smaller than the folks they hate wish such venomous vile sickness of their souls!

Delonte' C Riggins
Delonte' C Riggins

Read everything up to "...an AZ officer has the authority to...", then I stopped reading.

rh19541954
rh19541954

Jay Walking! Is at worst a misdemeanor offense punishable by at worst a fine, abuse of power, assault by a law enforcement officer can go to a felony offense, hence the FBI is investigating since obviously the ASU authorities will not or cannot investigate themselves! The Ku Klux Klan had to be investigated under the same circumstances, doubt this case is racially motivated by ASU, the officer involved being white might have white supremacist issues though! Maybe this black fellow is resigning out of disgust with his ASU superiors covering this incident up? I do know one thing am glad we live in America, civil courts can and often do fix issues like this and hurt the offenders in the only place many of them can feel pain the wallet, bank account!

Chris Scott England
Chris Scott England

Anita your a bleeding heart liberal, we would be speaking German right now if everyone was like you.

Chris Scott England
Chris Scott England

Last I checked black people have all the same rights as white people . Now obey the law.

Maggie Romero
Maggie Romero

Anita Mahaffey get a life. Jaywalking IS a crime...and so is STALKING. The verdict is in. This case is closed, move on with your life. She got what she deserved 100percent and no retaliation will ever change that. P.S.-alley ways need to be clear of debris.

Shelly Griffin
Shelly Griffin

I agree, Michelle. I feel like Im in a human game of whack a mole whenever I have to drive on Mill. She wasnt just jaywalking, she was walking down the middle of the street with her headphones on when a police car enroute to a call almost hit her. Thats why she was approached. Its illegal to walk in the middle of the road. Jaywalking is a minor offense and its not a problem ... until its a problem. Almost being hit, is a problem. Sure it could have been racially motivated but there is no evidence in the video or the preceeding audio to lead a reasonable person to believe that it was racially motivated. Hating police officers does not a legitimate argument make.

Brian Embree
Brian Embree

I like the idea of anytime a situation arises involving two different races someone yells racist. I'm using this from now on too.

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

I like the idea of this white person being an expert on what kind of treatment black people can expect from the cops. Lololol!

Christine Luge Kramer
Christine Luge Kramer

Sorry it hasn't finished full circle, guaranteed it Will catch the wilder beast

Robert Everson
Robert Everson

Looked more like he treated someone refusing his commands as the enemy.

Robert Everson
Robert Everson

An ASU cop doesn't have the lawful authority to demand ID from someone caught breaking the law on ASU grounds, and arrest them if they refuse to comply with that demand? Care to back that up with some proof?

johnlancaster85035
johnlancaster85035

YOUR talking about a country with 350 million people, of course if you put it in the media it will always be magnified 10 times bigger then it is.

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

Amelia, I agree with you. Unfortunately as you can see there is not a thing that can be done about it. I just hope people will continue to support Ersula and speak out. As you can tell we will get attacked verbally for our stating this opinion which just validates the injustice. Best regard, Lucy Babeu

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

Daniel, I agree there are a lot of racist in AZ, but there are also a lot of fine people there who are not. AZ was one of the last State to make Martin Luther King Day a National Hoilday and it was only because they were going to be denied money for Cinco de Mayo. Now if that does not make a loud statement, I do not know what does. Have a nice day. Lucy Babeu

BFNG
BFNG

@DonkeyHotay  DonkeyHotay


Allow me to take a moment to also give you thanks and props for the insights and light you've brought to this issue that so many on this site fail to see and acknowledge.


Your information here is exactly the the stuff that mainstream media will never make a part of their daily broadcasts, and those who rely on mainstream media for their information will never get the "broader view" one needs to get a fuller understanding of the rest of life around them.


On the other hand though, many of these people don't want a fuller and broader understanding.  That's, at least in part, why Arizona is their home.


No one can ever say you didn't try to bring a brighter light to those whose minds are clothed in the darkness.


Your "REWARD" poster is quite appropriate and "classic".


Way ta' go "DQ"

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

@DonkeyHotay  I just want to thank you for your quick response tonight in writing all the statements and article about police brutality, force, violence, and murder. I was amazed and impressed how you were able to type out some much important information for us to see. People hate seeing the truth, but I feel it is important to see what is really happening. They were getting angry at you for putting it out but you were not the when committing the criminal acts, the police officers where. Thanks for sharing. It helps validate everything I already thought. Best regards, Lucy Babeu

BFNG
BFNG

@Slappy  Very excellent Slappy,


I've videos where the officers have ganged up to subdue a person and the officers deliberately and unjustifiably began shouting at the person they are subduing "stop trying to grab my gun man", "why are you trying to grab my gun man?" 


Of course, they know they are being filmed and are trying to do and say anything to portray their victim in a bad light in an attempt to justify their own bad conduct and mistreatment of their victim.


These things, all, have become standard operating procedure.


Yeah Slappy, very excellent insight.

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

@Slappy  Excellent statement!!!!!!!!!!!! More training needs to happen to teach officers interpersonal communication skills with the public. To be fair, most citizens do not have that skills either anymore. But, the responsibility does remain with the officer who's duty it is to protect and serve. Maybe with this dialogue going on today, some solutions will come to light. If anything, at least it exposes their behavior and they are going to have to be more careful. I am sure Ersula has learned she has no choice but to comply, it is all about control and power with certain police officers. Have a nice night. Best regards, Lucy Babeu

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Chris Scott England "Anita your [sic] a bleeding heart liberal"


Another illiterate Rethuglykkkan.



LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

Who did you check with, the KKK?

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

Maggie you have a life of ignorance and arrogance like the cops that attacked Ersula. Speak for yourself when you say the verdict is in. Your case is closed and worry about your life not Anita's. You have no idea what anyone serves, and Ersula did not retaliate, she plead guilty. And as far as alley ways go it just show your education is so low, you cannot think outside of the gutter. Maybe you could go back to school and get your high school diploma, or maybe Ersula might be willing to tutor a poor soul like you for free. You need all the help you can get.

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

Griffin, You do not you know what a legitimate argument is by your statements. You exaggerated everything that is going on and make it as if Ersula is committing a huge criminal act. We all know what she was doing, even the police co-workers agree his conduct was unbecoming and inappropriate. Let's not say the police were totally in the right. Ersula did plead guilty.

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

You do not have to use being a RACIST from know on, YOU ARE ONE!!!!!!!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Well now Ty, what makes you think you know what a white woman thinks?

D'oh! 


Are you really laughing out loud out loud out loud?


Fucking dimwit.  

LucyBabeu
LucyBabeu

How would you like it if a cop profiled you because of you wearing your hood up. I do not have to explain how it has happened before and what has happened. Just be thankful you have not met the wrong one yet.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... another ignorant sycophantic cunt who doesn't know the law.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BFNG ... feel free to Reprint those Wanted Posters from Copwatch.com ... and plaster them around town, wherever corrupt criminal cops engage in their violent scumbaggery.



Ratatata
Ratatata

@LucyBabeu @DonkeyHotay Yes, she wants to thank you for being a loser with way too much time on your hands that helped her win an internet argument with strangers.


You're a hero, White Knight Donkey. A real interwebz hero.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@LucyBabeu @johnlancaster85035 


There are THOUSANDS more, and happening EVERY DAY in the U$A, and can easily be posted anytime an ignorant shitsucking little fucktard like johnasslicker85035 makes an absurdly naive obsequious pathetic denial that there isn't any comparison between corrupt violent lowlife criminal pigs and criminal gang members.



BFNG
BFNG

@Ratatata @LucyBabeu @DonkeyHotay 


Ratatata,


and how much of your valuable time did you spend keeping up DonkeyHotay spend "way too much of his time" working with Lucy to bring a  more "open and wider narrative" to this "public discussion?" 


had you nothing better to do with your time Rat?


Probably not.


Well, at least we know you got some exposure to something new and eyeopening on this blog instead of the normal, narrow and mindless 20th century hate, fear, and insecurity.


Hey, but this mindset is so emblematic of our state.


Fortunately, nothing stays the same forever.


Even in Arizona the light bulb is trying to come on :)

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