ASU Professor Charged After She Refused To Give Identification And Was Thrown To The Ground By Arresting Officer

ersula-oreThere is a growing controversy in Arizona over the arrest of Arizona State University Professor Ersula Ore who refused to show her identification to a police officer and ended up being thrown to the ground and arrested — a scene captured on the videotape below.

It remains unclear why the ASU police officer demands to see the identification of Ore. Libertarians have long opposed these laws required citizens to show their identification to police without any reasonable suspicion of a crime. In this case, Ore had allegedly jaywalked to avoid construction and then objected to what she considered a disrespectful tone of the officer. The officer, identified as Steward Ferrin, says “Let me see your ID or you will be arrested for failing to provide ID.” After he states that he has legal authority for the demand, Ore says that she has “no problem abiding by the law . . . But all I’m asking, do you have to speak to me in such a disrespectful manner?” Ore then resists efforts to handcuff her and eventually hits an officer in the leg.

asu30n-4-webAs we have seen in other controversial arrests, the prosecutors and police piled on charges. She has been charged with 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. The kick was so slight, it is hard to see the purpose of the assault charge beyond the desire to increase the possible sentence and force a plea. Likewise, obstructing a highway seems a bit over the top. It is the second charge is easy to establish, albeit controversial with many libertarians. There is no question that she was resisting the officer who did try to get her to yield with verbal commands. However, the proliferation of charges continue to concern many of us in these cases as a way of forcing citizens to enter pleas even when they would prefer to contest the original charge.

Ore is claiming self-defense and says that the officer was reaching toward her anatomy when she kicked him.

Ore is a professor of cultural studies in the English department and lists her interests as “Contemproary Rhetorical Theory, Race Critical Theory, Rhetorics of Race & Culture, Composition, Visual and Material Culture Studies.”

The university issued the following statement.

Arizona State University authorities have reviewed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the arrest of assistant professor Ersula Ore and have found that the officer involved did not violate protocol and no evidence was found of racial motivation by the ASU Police Department officers involved.

However, the ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved. In addition, although no university police protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.

According to the police report, ASU Police initially spoke to Ore because officers patrolling the area nearly hit her with their police vehicle as they turned the vehicle onto College Avenue to investigate a disabled vehicle. Officer Stewart Ferrin had no intention of citing or arresting Ore, but for her safety told her to walk on the sidewalk. When Ore refused to comply and refused to provide identification after she was asked for it multiple times, she was subsequently arrested.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has independently 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. The charge of assaulting an officer is based on the fact that Ore kicked the officer as is shown on the video and as she admitted in her recorded statements to the police.

Sharon Keeler, sharon.keeler@asu.edu
(480) 965-4012
Media Relations

The academic status of Professor Ore could be raised if she is convicted or pleads guilty to some of these charges, particularly given the involvement of ASU police. Not only are criminal convictions generally grounds for such review but a crime technically against or involving the university can present a very serious issue for removal.

89 thoughts on “ASU Professor Charged After She Refused To Give Identification And Was Thrown To The Ground By Arresting Officer”

  1. rafflaw: I’ll bet when the officer first approached, he was intending to merely give her a verbal warning and it was the woman’s retort which precipitated the whole encounter. Instead of explaining why she was in the street (because of construction), she probably became indignant and demanded that he modify his tone (which sounded pretty respectful to me, particularly in the beginning).

    Max-1: I remember that video when Turley posted it a while back. That chick collapsed and sat down in resistance. The only reason she was cuffed is because she ignored the officer and continued jogging. She considered herself entitled and above the law in regards to crossing the street. Another person who could have avoided an unpleasant situation.

  2. I didn’t think you had to show ID, just ID yourself. Has the law changed? I’d be getting students out to film this intersection and see how many cops, pedestrians do the walk. This could be more about race than jay walking.

  3. Nick: I thought Saucy was a woman, the writing style and ideas seem feminine. Nevertheless, her point was that only liberals are worried about the imposition on voting rights caused by voter ID laws.

    Her belief that voter fraud is in any way a significant problem in this country marks her out as either gullible or eager to believe that “those” people are scamming the system. It’s but one more swig of Kool-Aid.

  4. If I were the prosecutor, I would offer her the following deal: Drop the charges if she rides shotgun in a police cruiser for 2 days to get a better understanding of what cops face on a daily basis. This case should not be prosecuted. Period. Even if she technically committed a crime.

    When you are dealing with the folks who carry guns and badges, you need to be smart. The cop handled the situation poorly, but you don’t respond to that type of treatment by the cop by engaging in what is arguably a petty crime.

    Be smart when dealing with the folks who carry guns and badges. The majority of them are good people, but they are trained to assert their authority if someone is giving them a hard time. Don’t give them a reason to engage in what, in the absence of your own conduct, would otherwise clearly be misconduct on their part.

    Long ago in a galaxy far away, I got pulled over in DC because I drove the wrong way in one of DC’s screwy traffic circles. After I stopped, the cop had to walk about 25 feet after getting out of his cruiser. The entire time he was walking towards me, my (previous) wife was screaming at me at the top of her lungs for going the wrong way in the traffic circle. By the time the cop got to my car, he must have figured that I got more than my share of punishment handed to me for going the wrong way. He let me go without a ticket.

  5. Papers Please… or I’ll introduce you to my little friend, pavement.

  6. While it was stupid for this lady to not show her ID, don’t these officers have more important duties than to worry about an alleged jaywalking incident? This was abusive and unnecessary. She could have been talked down from her concerns without being handcuffed and assaulted. I am amazed he didn’t taze her.

  7. I want to be law-abiding. However, I find that the structure and process of law and law-enforcement have made my being law-abiding, in terms of statutes being law, impossible.

    In contrast with those who respond to this predicament with violence, I have long understood that retaliation is a harmful process, that reciprocal retaliation is a defeating process, and that escalating reciprocal retaliation is an annihilating process.

    So, the weapons, the only weapons, I have to use to defend myself against being harmed, being defeated, or being annihilated are words, written and spoken and heard.

    Meanwhile, I wait, and will wait for the rest of my life if that is what it takes, to learn of an actual demonstration of an actually-avoidable event that actually happened because it was actually unavoidable; with said event not being a violation of the law of identity, or a violation of the law of non-contradiction (aka, the law of contradiction {pardon the contradictory names for the same law} ), or a violation of the law of the excluded middle for dichotomies or the law of the included middle for continua, or the law of rational inference.

    When I find that the law requires what it prohibits, how can i not violate the law, or, how can the law not violate me?

    In contrast with raging maniacal “sovereign citizens” who have no sovereign association with even a phantasm of actual truthfulness, and who act out their inner self-despication by acting out against others who, like themselves, are addicted to one or another form of misguided authoritarianism, I happen to be far too autistic to entertain being anywhere close to that neurotypically traumatized.

    From time to time, Clarence Madison talked about officers he knew, some of them good friends, who were met with death by the actions of people who acted out being sovereign citizens of one or another insane sort.

    What is psychosis? What is insanity? What causes psychosis? What causes insanity? What will prevent psychosis without destroying life? What will prevent insanity without destroying life?

    Questions like those tend to frame and guide my bioengineering research.

  8. I strongly agree with Chuck Stanley that refusing to provide documents on request by a police officer to the officer is a form of provocation that I happen to abhor. So, instead of providing what a police officer asks me for, I not only provide that, but a bunch more than I was asked for.

    If I do not inform a police officer at the outset of an encounter, being autistic, I am likely to mess up using words sufficiently to greatly increase my accidentally put into serious to worse, to much worse, actual danger.

    A couple good friends of mine were both amateur radio operators and police officers. One of them, the late Clarence Madison, held amateur radio call sign WB9PME, he was a Chicago patrolman.

    We visited each other many times, sometimes on the south side of Chicago, sometimes in Oak Park.

    Madison, as he was known by his friends, shared with me the difficulties of being a police officer, the difficulties of being consistently able to grasp which laws were applicable to a particular situation, the concern of misunderstanding an incident in ways that ended up unintentionally harming people.

    One friend of mine, in Wisconsin, is a retired police officer, and he has shared concerns about public safety and police work that I find very similar to the concerns the late Clarence Madison shared with me.

    I am not opposed to law, nor to law enforcement, and my license as a professional engineer mandates that I work in accord with the Code of Ethics of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the first principle of which is holding paramount public safety.

    Alas, a system of laws which has become as though sometimes its greatest adversary is not a system which holds paramount the public safety.

    Alas, a system of laws which those who are, by law, bound to obey, yet which neither lawyers nor judges nor juries nor the public at large can accurately understand is not a system which holds paramount the pubic safety.

    Alas, a system which used deception to facilitate entrapment of innocent people is not a system which holds paramount the pubic safety.

    Alas, a system which, against my will, and under protest, left me bereft of any way to live according to my conscience and according to the NSPE Code of Ethics, simply cannot be a system which holds paramount the public safety.

    I am considering re-licensing my motorcycle-grade scooter (a Yamaha 250 cc Morphous) to further study, safely if at all possible, scofflaw conduct of drivers in northeastern Wisconsin. The Morphous has a larger-than-factory windshield (for enhanced safety) and a digital speedometer that reads out in 1 mile per hour increments. With a GPS-logging dashcam, I can record scofflaw behavior for subsequent at-home research study.

    I have no intention of “turning anyone in.” I am intrigued by the kind of situations in which a scofflaw driver will pass a motorcycle going up a hill on which the road curves and has a double yellow centerline.

    When people discover that they cannot possibly choose to be law-abiding, because one law requires what another prohibits, and are, therefore, in violation of the law by legislative/lawyerly/judicial entrapment, becoming a scofflaw may be the only sane way to live that some neurotypical folks are able to find.

    For myself, as a bioengineer, I find the enigma of law, law enforcement, and law violation to be the most profoundly, and terribly, intriguing problem I have ever found in the realm of theoretical biology.

    So, instead of holding back information from a police officer, I offer the officer more, and more accurate, information than the officer may want.

    Unless someone can demonstrate that my doctoral research is defective by actually doing a demonstration of an actually-avoidable accident or mistake (I find that such a demonstration is actually impossible), I shall have to continue to believe that the social notion of guilt is a tragically addictive, absolutely psychotic, delusion, which relentlessly generates dastardly consequences when used as a way to enhance law and law enforcement.

    I find that I am readily able to actually demonstrate the impossibility of actually demonstrating that anyone can ever actually be guilty of anything.

    I truly would welcome a demonstration that my thesis and dissertation finding that actually-avoidable events are always actually avoided is somehow neurologically untrue.

    I cannot take a police officer, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, a judge, and a jury, along with an errorless understanding of every past, present, and future law and judicial decision, so that, when I set out to do something, I can understand the law, as it will be applied to what I do, only after the fact of my doing it, perfectly.

    So, I continue to find that it is not people who violate adversarial law, it is adversarial law which violates people.

    No hypothetical argument is ever an actual (tangibly real) demonstration.

    In my view, it is profoundly foolish to challenge police officers over what are, in the contemporary social malaise, what are rightfully deemed inconsequential trivialities.

    If Clarence Madison was one of your good friends, perhaps what I learned from him, you would also understand.

  9. RTC, Saucy hates libertarians. He busts my balls all the time. However, he has shown to have a caricature view of libertarians.

  10. Saucy: George Bush’s justice dept could not show voter fraud occurring in any significant numbers, LESS than 3% nationwide.

    Requiring ID’s for voting is unAmerican. True libertarians, the ones who want to be left alone, don’t believe they should be forced to get a govt ID, period, let alone carry it around or present one to vote. Many people, libertarian and otherwise, never bother to obtain ID.

    True libertarians recognize that the right to vote is more fundamental than the right to bear arms. ID’s cost money, money that some people don’t have. The right to vote shouldn’t depend on a person’s ability to pay for an ID anymore than it should depend on paying a poll tax.

    Voter ID laws are inherently unfair and racist, because many minorities, poor, and elderly don’t have ID, some don’t have birth certificates. And the legislators of various states, like Pennsylvania were explicit about their intentions when they drew up these laws.

    How do you like you’re Kool-aid, sweetie?

  11. Hey shakyhead: That’s how it works when an officer asks for your ID; there’s no debate, there’s no discussion, you give it to them, if you have it. You want to talk about it? Do it after you’ve given them what they’ve requested.

    This officer was exceptionally respectful, and patient! This wasn’t a case of police abuse of power, they were not overbearing in the least, even when trying to cuff the woman. They gave her every opportunity to leave with her dignity and she insisted upon having a confrontation. Rather foolishly.

  12. Chuck Stanley at 8:57 pm

    Divide and demonize, reminiscent of Nazi German. I don’t use that playbook. Maybe the DHS (America’s Gestapo) should militarize our police force?

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