ASU officer placed on leave; prof to appear in court - WNEM TV 5


ASU officer placed on leave; prof to appear in court

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ASU professor arrested (Source: ASU PD) ASU professor arrested (Source: ASU PD)

An Arizona State University police officer accused of using excessive force in the arrest of a campus professor has been placed on administrative leave while his accuser is expected to be in court Thursday morning.

A video of the May 20 incident shows an altercation between campus police Officer Stewart Ferrin and ASU assistant English professor Ersula Ore, who was arrested for jaywalking May 20.

Now the university is asking the FBI to take a look at the case to determine if the officer violated the professor's civil rights.

Ore was spotted walking northbound in the middle of College Avenue, south of Fifth Street in Tempe, court record stated. Police said she refused to show them identification when they stopped her, then she resisted arrest and assaulted one of their officers, investigators said.

The video shows Ferrin forcefully bringing Ore to the ground. Both Ferrin and Ore suffered minor injuries.

"I was never asked what my name was, I was never told what I was in violation of," Ore said. "It was just immediately, 'Do you know the difference between a street and a sidewalk?'"

ASU issued a statement Wednesday:

"A preliminary review by ASU PD of Ferrin's arrest of ASU Assistant Professor Ersula Ore found that Ferrin did not engage in racial profiling or use excessive force. However, as part of its ongoing review of the incident, the university has asked the FBI to determine if there were any civil rights violations."

ASU police said the county attorney's office independently reviewed all of the evidence and still decided to press criminal charges.

A university spokesperson would not on camera, citing an ongoing investigation.

Since this story broke, CBS 5 News has received calls from others who claim to have had negative interactions with Ferrin.

Tracy Stewart said she was stopped by Ferrin for going the wrong way on a one-way road.

"I said, 'I'm so sorry,' and he was still in the process of yelling at me, saying, 'Did you not see the sign? Did you not know where you're going?'"

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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