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?

 

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

  1. DL500unit says:

    Here’s a novel idea. If you want a proficient force of police officers to protect the campus perhaps Dr. Crow should see to it these officers are afforded the same rights, cares, and considerations as a professor who was more than willing to escalate this international situation on every news outlet available.

    Instead of equality and understanding the university administration permits the villification of an officer who put himself in harm’s way many days prior to this one incident. It’s time to stop this shameful waffling and stand by your employees equally. One was willing to put their life on the line for the public and one was not.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      Different strokes for different folks.

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      The handling of officer Ferrin in this case is a clear example of how far the department and university will support you if god forbid they see a news story. Get certified and get the hell out of here ASAP like the last four officers did! Decide against that and your career might be over before you know it.

    • popo39machine says:

      A functional police department finds crime. When they find crimes there’s an increase in crime statistics and the university through our PD does everything it can to avoid reporting the statistics. Higher crime scares students away and that’s money. This unchecked conflict of interest puts the community in danger.

  2. Embudo says:

    The email sent to all employees on 07/16/14, by interim Chief Michael Thompson is yet another smoke and mirrors sham that is rife with disingenuousness.

    The trite line: “I cannot change the past but I am excited about putting us on the course of making this department better than it has ever been before.”

    Translation: Let’s not hold anyone currently in the command staff and mid-level accountable for past atrocious behavior, misdeeds, and alleged criminal activity. The same stance as the university’s leadership.

    Chief Thompson, if you really want to change the course of the ASU PD, we suggest that you start investigating some of the allegations of criminal wrongdoing within the ASU PD that has been brought to your attention. And, if substantiated, holding those individuals fully accountable. Until then, nothing within the ASU PD will change.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      Your translation is correct.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      Why fix any of the neglected complaints that have fueled this blog right? Just move on and ignore the problems because it worked for Pickens and Hardina right? I guess it didn’t.

  3. WheresMy907 says:

    Not surprised in the least! The knee jerk reaction to say everything is A ok to protect the university against perceived liability until media attention and some negative opinion flared up.

    Going the extra mile to find fault with an officer’s actions even though he was cleared is just the ASU Police way. They open internal affair investigations for any complaint at any time unless it’s on a protected pet, then it’s an informal review.

    Meanwhile you have ignorant ass university leadership praising Ore as if she’s Rosa Parks. She’s no Rosa Parks. They are right about one thing, ASUPD needs to be thoroughly investigated, but there’s nothing to this case other than Ore should have been compliant, not militant, and Ferrin could have used better discretion.

    This was hardly worth pushing it as far as it went when you know you are a university officer who has no real support from your department.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      A city cop wouldn’t have these issues, no way.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      You are asking for a moral stance by law regardless of special priveledges based on color, media hype, public relations, but that’s not how we have done business here and it’s not likely to change.

    • DontLOLmeJP says:

      For every Ersula Ore that pretends she’s a Rosa Parks is one more person taking away from the legacy of Rosa Parks. We have a black/white president, two terms, you still think it’s the 1960’s? Wake up and realize it’s not like the rest of us.

  4. WheresMy907 says:

    You are right on the money!

  5. BurningheapofFail says:

    How many police departments would say, “…although no university protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.”?!?

    This is coming straight from the university who more than once has proven they have a conflict of interest in running a police department.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      The university, especially it’s police department administration, looks at officers as expendable. In this case like others before it perception beats policy.

      Example: One our former officers did a traffic stop on a coach, was cussed out by the coach, the coach threatened to call Chief Pickens, and he filed a complaint against the officer with nothing to complain about other than he was upset the officer gave him a ticket.

      At first the officer was exonerated by an IA, but later was disciplined because the didn’t record the contact per an obscure policy. Our policy is broad enough to cover everything and the imagination in how it’s applied takes it to it’s farthest reaches.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      Sounds legit right?!? You can’t make this garbage up.

    • DontLOLmeJP says:

      It just doesn’t stop. They keep rolling with inquiry until it says what they want it to.

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      Yes it translates to although we have nothing we will soon be sinking lower than any other police department in trying to sabotage one of our own officers in order the placate the University administration.

    • JustTheFacts says:

      This is purely an ASU police thing. It’s a good thing to keep in mind if you apply to be a police officer here first before the city departments. You get no support here and we are all expendable. Also pay step increases, promotions, specialty positions, a sense of team, morale, working equipment, these might matter to you as well.

    • popo39machine says:

      Shameful. What a fantastic way to treat your protectors, grill them with investigation after investigation until you get the one that fits your intended action.

  6. indeedYOUsay says:

    This is just another case of the ivory tower of liberalism meddling with how the police department is run. They will keep asking around until someone gives them the answer they want to hear about officer Ferrin’s contact with Ore. So far everyone is clearing him including the county attorney, so now what?

    The Tempe admin of our police department are terrified of losing their jobs they will do anything to save them, so let’s have them do another fault finding Monday morning quarterback investigation. It’s not a investigation if you already have a judgement. It’s a witch trial and nothing more.

    • DontLOLmeJP says:

      Judging by how our department was run by Pickens and company in the past maybe they didn’t do enough looking in to things. A city department still answers to city management. Is it as bad as the ASU admin oversight? Probably worse here, cities focus on crime fighting period, not statistic fighting and manipulation.

    • Seguridad perdido says:

      If they haven’t figured out how screwed up ASUPD is by now they’re in trouble. There’s a reason the top two guys were told to get their shit and get out in a week. I think the word is out.

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      The new acting assistant chief Thompson promoted, Michelle Rourke, takes pride in doing these morale defeating investigations on subordinates. She will do anything to save her job since she embarrassed the university administration by mishandling Clery reporting so badly. That issue isn’t over!

  7. indeedYOUsay says:

    You are asking for a moral stance by law regardless of special priveledges based on color, media hype, public relations, but that’s not how we have done business here and it’s not likely to change.

  8. DontLOLmeJP says:

    Everyone has to blame “the man” and in this case the anti-law enforcement portion of the public as usual blames the police no matter what, that can’t be helped.

    President Crow, Morgan Olsen, and the rest of the deciders need to consult experts in law enforcement and look at the police message boards for a peer review before making a rash decision about what to do in this case.

    Giving assistant professor Ore a free pass and blank check for acting out isn’t the answer, but it’s going to be the most likely way this scenario plays out. Did the young inexperienced officer choose the lesser side of discretion in this case, sure, does he deserve to lose his job over it, no. Knowing that, before any decision is made, what message do you send to the community when you tolerate and exonerate HER behavior by punishing the officer? How will that affect compliance for your few remaining officers in the future? Are you proud of the example she set?

    • Seguridad perdido says:

      A clear double standard at play here. It doesn’t look like the courts are buying the professor Ore argument.

      This says so much, “…although no university protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.”

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      We have to treat every person, every contact the same, but when it comes to the university and how it treats it’s employees Officer Ferrin has no voice, no special consideration, and no right to fairness.

      Ore on the other hand gets support as the courts side against her, and university leadership praises her as pointed out in the Bill Richardson article in this post,

      “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.”

      This is shit, but the university helps itself to another spoonful by allowing promoting this rush to judgement against Ferrin and prompting ASUPD to do yet another investigation on him, “…although no university protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.” Another spoonful of shit.

    • DL500unit says:

      Sorry, I doubt President Crow, Morgan Olsen have a care what officers think about this case. They will do whatever they can to make this go away.

    • Howard Roark says:

      You are awfully light handed in your characterization of Officer Ferrin’s action. “the young inexperienced officer choose the lesser side of discretion”

      Look, the video is there for all to see. He threw an unarmed woman in an evening dress to the ground in the middle of the street for disrespecting his authority. That’s what happened. Don’t pretend it was something else. Do I think he should lose his job? no. But should we minimize his wrongdoing, like you have done? no.

  9. RUkiddingMe says:

    Does Dr. Crow realize if he hadn’t signed off on Picken’s piss poor management of the department for the last 14 years ASU wouldn’t have been in the media nearly as much, they wouldn’t have to lie to the federal government about Clery stats, which they weren’t doing to any degree of accuracy, and safety would be a reality, not the one officer here or there coverage across campus after campus. One lone officer is sufficient to take on a tactically trained active shooter who planned their spree the way so many seem to do? Are you kidding me? Wake the hell up before the next media frenzy takes place.

    • JustTheFacts says:

      Maybe Pickens has too much dirt on important people at the university to dismis. Maybe he has a little more time on his contract and they don’t want to pay out without making him work for it.

      Why they paid him in excess of every chief in the state to manage some of the lowest paid officers.

      I’ll never understand. Can anyone explain that? It’s obvious to everyone now that he’s been unfit for command.

    • popo39machine says:

      I’m sure Crow realizes it now, 14 years later! The managers under him missed the boat to, they were supposed to be managing the PD over Pickens.

  10. popo39machine says:

    So many things wouldn’t be making headline news or fuelling this blog if you had a cadre of successful leaders running the department. Crow should have been aware there were issues at the department a long time ago.

    In most cases command put the most socially inept dysfunctional people in charge as supervisors for years because it reflects what they value most, themselves. With two major problem people gone it’s a start, but that’s about it.

    • DL500unit says:

      Nobody picked up and prmoted at the speed of sound by Pickens knows anything worthwhile about leadership. All they know are archaic negative stereotypes of management, the ones the Pickens regime typified.

  11. 311 says:

    Keep it up until the deadbeats are out, then it’s time to rebuild. That’s the only way the department can rebuild. Sadly, there isn’t enough core ethics within the Pickens promoted command combined to be of any use to the future of the agency.

    They forgot public service also meant that you take care of and mentor your fellow public servants who are on the street actually serving the public.

    They forgot not ruin the morale of a department and strip away the incentive for talent to stay here. It’s hard to staff patrol with an agency full of supervisors. This blog has been the only instrument for change in ASUPD for 14 years! That’s substantial. This change needed to happen long before ASU approached the 80K student number. The coming changes will most likely save some lives in the long run. Good work!

    • DL500unit says:

      This online content is only going to continue as long as the problems and the people creating them continue. The content here will generate interest on ASUPD and those above the department within the university management.

      The ASU administration and ASUPD command have been given every opportunity to fix the department and have failed to do so for years. If the parents knew how well funded and understaffed the department was they would be sick.

      The only logical recourse and the only one that’s worked is the online public shaming until issues get resolved. Management needs to do positive work for a change and stop giving people something negative to talk about.

  12. ASU Waffle House says:

    Heads up people. Another episode of ASU Waffle House is set to debut. Unable to do the right thing, unable to treat university employees as equals, the university leadership is taking all the negative media coverage very personally and politically.

    What are they doing against Assistant professor Ore even though she pled guilty in court and is on 9 months of supervised probation? Nothing.

    What are they doing against Officer Ferrin who hasn’t been charged or found guilty of anything? They are now apparently trying to get him to resign and of course he refused, so the ball is in their court again. Given the history of ASUPD management they will create a paper pile against Officer Ferrin to try and justify their next move. They are quite predictable. The news should research how ASUPD officers were terminated in the past. It’s different strokes for different folks!

    If current Officer Mark Janda (the number 2 in Ferrin’s arrest video) wasn’t a part of the protected people within the agency things would have gone differently for him in his hour of need. Any other officer would have been terminated for the SEXUAL ASSAULT case he completed by turning in a FIELD INTERVIEW CARD and not bothering to interview the mutable suspects in the case. This fuck up led to the state paying out 3 MILLION DOLLARS to the victim instead of giving the victim justice, looking for the guilty, and holding them accountable.

    Now acting ASUPD Chief Mike Thompson plans to promote this officer to Sergeant? Pressure one to resign/get terminated on one lesser case. Protect and promote another on a much greater case.

    The news should research how much ASU has paid in lawsuits over the years. How many were police related? How many could have been avoided? How many people were paid to be quiet, to not go to the media, and the cycle continued? This is Arizona and federal tax payer money.

    • ComeOnNow4real says:

      It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The fact they are finding no wrong done by the professor says everything. They have an agenda.

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