A police encounter in Tempe, Arizona, over the weekend turned ugly after a campus police officer wrestled Arizona State University professor Ersula Ore to the ground. Video footage shows the officer attempting to pull Ore's hands behind her back and pin her against the dashboard before slamming her onto the ground in the middle of the street.
Ore's crime, evidently, was jaywalking in the middle of the night.
The video footage is available at azfamily.com. It depicts Ore arguing with the officer, Stewart Ferrin, off camera. She objected to being stopped and claimed that people cross the street—which is under construction—all the time. Nevertheless, the officer insisted on Ore providing him with her ID. After she took issue with his disrespectful tone and refused the demand, he attempted to place her under arrest.
After being yanked onto her feet again, Ore gave Ferrin a kick to the shin. She is now being charged with aggravated assault.
Vice described the incident as a "cop assaulting a black ASU professor":
Ferrin stopped Ore for walking in a traffic thoroughfare. "I've been here for over three years and everybody walks this street… I never once saw a single solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a street on a campus," Ore told the officer before pointing out how the sidewalk was obstructed by construction.
Ferrin then told her to put her hands behind her back and threatened to "slam" her on his car when she refused to show her ID, objecting expressly to the officer's disrespectful approach. Ferrin threw Ore violently to the ground, leaving her dress hiked up, her body exposed. He and another officer then dragged her to her feet, at which point she kicked Ferrin in the shin. Now she faces the felony assault charge, which she plans to fight.
Ore's lawyer is claiming that her client was molested by the officer while he had her pinned on the ground, off camera. The kick was therefore self-defense.
Whether or not that defense holds up, Ferrin's behavior toward Ore certainly seems unnecessary, given the trivial nature of her supposed crime.
Watch the video below.