From the New Times Blog:
Ersula Ore, the assistant professor at Arizona State University whose violent arrest became national news because of a viral video, was sentenced today to nine months’ supervised probation.
Ore pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of passively resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. She’d been charged originally by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office with three misdemeanor counts and one felony count of aggravated assault on a police officer related to the May 20 arrest.
On that evening, Ore had been walking on College Avenue near Fifth Street when Stewart Ferrin, a rookie ASU police officer, admonished her for walking in the street. She perceived his attitude as rude, and gave him some guff. For her troubles, she soon found herself being thrown to the ground and handcuffed as Ferrin arrested her. She can be seen on the video resisting Ferrin’s efforts to handcuff her, and launching a small kick to Ferrin’s legs. The video makes Ferrin look bad, too, as we’ve pointed out previously, due to his overreaction on a mere jaywalking stop, and inability — “I’m going to slam you on this car” — to handle Ore in gentlemanly fashion.
Video of the arrest by ASU police officer Stewart Ferrin was shared broadly on the Internet after Channel 3 News (KTVK-TV) first aired it in late June, inciting many viewers who believed Ore had suffered police brutality. Under public pressure, ASU officials — who had previously found that Ferrin acted appropriately — put Ferrin on administrative leave and asked the FBI to investigate the case for potential civil-rights violations.
Two weeks of bad publicity received by ASU was followed by the unexpected departures of ASU Police Chief John Pickens and Assistant Chief James Hardina. ASU claimed, unbelievably, that the departures had nothing to do with Ore.
As of Thursday, Ferrin was still on leave, ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told New Times.
Also on Thursday, a website called “Down and Drought” published an article by an anonymous author that highlights the apparent responses of police officers to the Ore case. “Agualarchy,” (who could be John Huppenthal for all we know), also criticizes New Times for predicting that Ore won’t make good on her threat to “sue the (bleep) out of the officer,” and for failing to mention old, debunked allegations against Ferrin’s father, John Ferrin in our previous articles about Ore.
With Ferrin on leave, the departures of ASU’s top brass unexplained, and the FBI investigation unfinished, you can expect to hear some more in the near future on this widely publicized case.
The Phoenix New Times writer, Ray Stern, hit the nail right on the head when it comes to the Ore snafu; after initially standing behind Officer Ferrin following the arrest of Professor Ore, ASU later threw Ferrin under the bus due to mounting public pressure. The university’s attempts to explain the ousting both Chief Pickens and Assistant Chief Hardina as unrelated to Ore’s arrest were both comical and unbelievable; apparently, ASUPD had gotten so accustomed to presenting half-truths to members of the department (where any dissenting opinion is quashed immediately), they wrongly assumed the general public would fall for the same line.
While Ore’s criminal case is finished, the entire saga at ASU is far from over; the disposition of Officer Ferrin’s career has yet to be determined. Ferrin was reportedly asked to resign his position as a peace officer so that ASUPD could forgo the formality of doing an actual “investigation” (smartly, Ferrin told ASUPD to pound sand). Both the FBI and DPS’ investigations into wrong-doing on the part of Officer Ferrin are ongoing, with no end in sight.
ASUPD remains shell-shocked following the purge of Pickens and Hardina, and continues to fall apart (albeit more slowly) as another school year begins. ASU’s administration is now micromanaging the departmen to prevent the university from experiencing another PR meltdown–essentially making Interim Chief Thompson a powerless talking head.
With this whole debacle fresh in the public’s mind, you can be certain that any further scandals coming out about ASUPD will surely mean the end of the Michael Crow-era at ASU (we heard McDonald’s is always hiring, sir).