Under increasing public and media scrutiny, ASU starts waffling in the case of Officer Ferrin

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As Assistant Professor Ore’s case continues to make its way from the headlines to the courtroom, ASU Police Officer Stuart Ferrin’s actions are under further scrutiny by an FBI and another ASU investigation! ASU has stepped away from its original investigation which cleared Officer Ferrin of any wrongdoing in the arrest of Ursula Ore, and instead decided to submit to the media/public pressure calling for Ferrin’s termination.

On June 28, 2014, ASU officials originally released a statement to 3TV and other news outlets that said,

“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.”

In response to the increasing media coverage and controversy over of the incident, ASUPD released a secondary statement to the Huffington Post one day after the original statement:

“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 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 Assistant Professor 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.”

Only AFTER ASU received a slew of negative media coverage (and AFTER ASUPD cleared Officer Ferrin) did the university place him on administrative leave, and subsequently initiate a SECOND investigation (based on no violations of law or policy).

 Following the carefully camouflaged terminations of Chief John Pickens and Assistant Chief James Hardina, Assistant Chief Michael Thompson assumed command as interim Chief of ASU Police. He issued a customary introduction letter via email and stated, “As you know there is an ongoing investigation into the contact between Officer Ferrin and Professor Ore. Therefore, I cannot go into detail about the incident beyond the following: No decision has been made within our department, or Arizona State University executive administration, with respect to the outcome of that incident. Once the investigation(s) are concluded, I expect those documents will be forwarded adjudicated based on all of the available facts.”

ASUPD interim positions during meltdown

How can Thompson state that no decision has been made within the department? What about the decision that was already made which cleared Officer Ferrin of any wrongdoing? Where is Officer Ferrin’s voice in this entire discussion?

Professor Ore has been allowed to publicly defend herself and speak freely to the media, but Officer Ferrin–under order from the university– hasn’t been able to speak and defend his actions. This scenario perfectly illustrates the notion that ASU has very different rules for its employees depending on where they fall in the administrative food chain.

Retired Mesa police officer Bill Richardson decided to be Officer Ferrin’s “voice” in a recent article published in the East Valley Tribune. We wanted to repost this article in its entirety because it sheds light on a very one-sided media issue.

Reposted here in its entirety:

Who is Arizona State University Police Officer Stewart Ferrin, the officer who has been accused of abusing ASU Professor Ersula Ore?

On May 20, 2014, Officer Ferrin arrested ASU Professor Ore on multiple charges, including felony assault on a police officer, following her being stopped for walking down the middle of the road. Ore initially pled innocence and self-defense to the public and national media, but has now pled guilty to resisting arrest and faces up to six-months in the Maricopa County Jail’s “Tent City.”

ASU Police reportedly investigated Ferrin’s conduct following the arrest and no misconduct was found. Even with Ore’s guilty plea and ASU officials clearing Ferrin of any misconduct, as soon as Ore’s publicity machine took her plea of being abused nationwide, Ferrin became the target of another investigation and a request by university officials to have the FBI investigate Ferrin for civil rights violations.

In an email to ASU faculty, University Provost Rob Page praised Ore and pointed a veiled finger in Ferrin’s direction. For a man who is a trained scientist and “charged with the stewardship of Arizona State University,” you’d have thought his bias would’ve been kept in check and he’d have at least waited for the results of the FBI investigation before taking sides.

Talk about getting thrown under the bus.

ASU has yet to publicly announce if it is even going to investigate Ore’s criminal conduct and her reported alleged obscenity laced threats against the officer. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

The portrayal of Ore as the victim and Ferrin as a thug has been well orchestrated. No one has talked about Ferrin as a person.

The following information was obtained from those who know and work with him. Ferrin has been ordered to sit at home and been “gagged” by university officials from speaking for himself.

Ferrin grew up wanting to be a cop like his dad. At 12 he had his own lawn mowing business. He spent 10 years as a Boy Scout and earned the Eagle Scout Award. His Eagle Scout project was organizing and gathering together 50 volunteers to attack Tempe’s serious graffiti problem in a gang-ridden neighborhood. During his ten-years in the Scouts he also served four-years with the Mesa Police Explorers where he was presented with the Prudential Spirit of Service Award for his dedication and volunteerism.

In high school he worked at a local bank in an internship program. After high school he used his own savings to pay part of the costs for his Church of Latter-day Saints mission. He served two-years in Chile where he not only held a leadership position among his fellow missionaries, he was called upon to work with the U. S. Air Force as a translator in the massive 8.8 earthquake relief efforts in 2010.

Following his mission he worked full-time and volunteered at the Tempe Police Department where he was again recognized for his service and presented the Presidential Service Award.

He was hired by ASU Police in 2011 to work in communications. Six-months later after passing a series of examinations including a psychological evaluation, polygraph test and background investigation he was selected to attend the police academy. He attended the same five-month police academy officers from throughout the valley attend, including Tempe officers. He then completed an equally long field-training program before being assigned to patrol duties. Because of his Spanish speaking and cultural skills his fellow ASU officers and Tempe police called upon him often to assist in translations and investigations.

Since joining the ASU PD his volunteerism has continued with the W. Steven Martin Toy Drive at Christmas and the annual Scottsdale Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program. He has a wife, a child and a baby on the way.

Years of caring and service aren’t the character traits of a badge heavy police officer that abuses someone during an arrest.

The portrayal of Ferrin as a thug and out of control rogue cop is far cry from who he really is and his lengthy record of service and compassion as a Boy Scout, LDS Missionary, Tempe police volunteer, dedicated ASU police officer, husband and father.

I’d rather have Officer Ferrin responding to help my child who attends ASU than having her in a class with professor Ore.

 

Professor Ore has been afforded the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, so why is ASU still waffling over whether or not Officer Ferrin is also afforded that right? Are our rights as police officers and also private citizens also subject to the aforementioned waffling?