AZCES raises relevant questions about ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers

ASU Police Officer assaults prisoner

The Arizona Center for Ethnic Studies group raised some pretty interesting questions regarding ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers. In the post, AZCES appeal to ASU’s administration with the following questions:

  • What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?  How are complaints filed and investigated?  What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?  What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?
  • What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?  What, specifically will they be reviewing?  What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?  How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?

Although we strongly disagree with AZCES’s assertion that Officer Ferrin used force excessively and engaged in racial profiling, the points they raised are valid ones and are not just limited to the topics of use of force/racial profiling. AZCES’ blogpost has grazed the surface of the much larger issues raised on The Integrity Report involving training and supervision of ASUPD employees and transparency/fairness in internal affairs investigations

In any major investigation (such as the FBI’s probe of ASUPD), the actions of the individual involved is dissected, as well and the training and supervisor that the individual received. If the department acted negligently by not providing either adequate supervision or training, then the department (and also university) is also at fault. This could mean a litany of lawsuits against the university in circumstances where the arresting officer was trained by an FTO who wasn’t certified to be training, or supervised by an FTO or patrol Sergeant who wasn’t properly certified or trained to supervise others. Not only does this hold true for officers currently employed at ASUPD, but would also include officers who made arrests while employed at ASUPD that work for other departments or who have left LE completely.

Considering the amount of officers that have left ASUPD in the past 5-10 years, ASU could be facing a major class action lawsuit. 

Although this situation with Officer Ferrin is unfortunate (and again, we do believe he will be exonerated), it has brought a lot of attention and media scrutiny to a major problem that has been plaguing ASUPD for years. It will be interesting to watch the chain of events unfold in real-time.

Again…stand by, folks.