Cop Manhandles Jaywalking ASU Prof, Slams Her to the Ground, Charges Her With Assault

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.


Ersula Ore
ASU Campus Police / Youtube

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.

NEXT: For School Kids in California, A Fight is Just a Fight—Not a Crime

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Does anyone know what she was a professor of?

    1. Assistant professor of English and Rhetoric.

      5 seconds on google

      1. As if UCS just has bundles of 5secs lying around. Jeez.

        1. At home, sure, at work, work stuff takes precedence.

          I wanted to figure out if the professor got bitten by a power structure they’d advocated for, or if they were a run of the mill victim. ‘English and Rhetoric’ isn’t probitive in that arena though.

        2. Posting = producing bits.

          Googling = consuming bits.

          We need more producers, not consumers!

  2. Disrespecing the King’s Men is NOT a “trivial” crime.

    1. Disrespecing


      1. Disrespecing: when you switch to healing because the lfg-assigned healer sucks or has been afk for 10mins.

        1. +1 (recovering Evercrack player)

        2. You just earned yourself a beatdown, nerd. You, me, previous thread, after school.

          1. Please Dweebs. Let he who is without geekiness cast the first d20.

            I bet you were a big Cubicles & Careers player back in Jr. High.


  3. Jaywalking is a serious crime. You laugh, but what if she didn’t look both ways before crossing the street? Every law is important, otherwise it wouldn’t be a law. We put down good tax dollars for stoplights and crosswalks and this abusive woman just spits in the taxpayer’s face. Only a criminal would have such disrespect for orderly society.

    1. Every law is important, otherwise it wouldn’t be a law.

      Exactly. That’s why we group them all into “THE LAW”.

    2. Good job: B+

  4. Kicking the officer in the shin? That’s a threat to his life! At that point he could have killed her and nothing else would have happened. She’s lucky to be alive.

    1. True, the penalty for failure to obey is death. She got off easy.

  5. Dominance and submission.

    Baboons with guns.

  6. The worst part is that she seems legitimately surprised that he’s rude to her.

    1. Presuming she’s a law abiding citizen, this could very well have been her first direct encounter with an LEO.

      I didn’t know any better until the first time I called the police. Some fuckers tried to mug me on the way home from work one day, chased me to my house and sat outside in their car for a few minutes while I waited for police to arrive. When they eventually showed up, they were like “so were you trying to buy drugs from them?”

      To their credit, they did catch one of the motherfuckers later that day, in a stolen car.

      1. I made the mistake of calling the cops after my apartment was broken into, thinking they might actually treat it like a crime. Instead they told me it was drug related, ran me for warrants, and asked to search my apartment for drugs. When I refused, they left. No report, no nothing.

      2. That sucks, but that’s a pretty typical story for someone who carries every day. One encounter like that teaches us why a one-pound pea shooter is more valuable than a dozen cops when things turn bad.

        And years of Balko nutpunches may have made me overestimate the danger of a police encounter, but when I have to speak to them, I generally treat cops the same way I would a mafia don. That anyone else, much less an educated person, much less a black, educated person, would be surprised that a police officer would be power-tripping and rude bowls me over.

        1. “I generally treat cops the same way I would a mafia don.”

          I think that is wise. I would recommend that to everyone.

    2. Apparently it was all part of the act.

  7. And what does it matter that she’s a professor? Would this have been excused had she been a student?

    1. She’s black, a woman, an English professor, and she was assailed by a cop. It’s a cosmo’s wet dream of Political Outrage Unification, whereas if the cop had kicked a white fundamentalist preacher’s ass, the left could give two shits.

      1. Ah yes. Principals, not principles.

    2. I’ll go with the enemy of my enemy for $200, Alex.

  8. so if she had been white and something other than a professor, this would have been okay?

    1. It would have been uninteresting to liberals of the salon/mother-jones/slate variety

  9. What happens when an entitled object meets an unstoppable authority?

    1. A beat down and arrest, apparently.

      1. The authority (that is, the one with the monopoly on “legitimate” violence) wins. The authority ALWAYS wins. Even if you go to court and they say you were in the right, well, they made you go to court, waste your time, energy and money and they still got to beat you down. The authority ALWAYS wins…

        1. And the cop got overtime for going to court – an extra FY from the authoritay!

  10. He should have just shot her with the .50 on top of the Urban Armored Pacification Vehicle. She could have easily been a terrorist!

    1. What do you mean, “could have”? She refused to submit and kicked him.

  11. What’s with all the idiot paleo butthurt in this thread? OMG THEY MENTIONED SHE’S A PROFESSOR. HERPITY DERPITY COCKTAIL PARTIEZ!!1

    1. Well, I’m desenstitized to stories about police abuse, so I was looking to see if there was any schadenfreude to be had or if it was just a downer.

      So far it’s just a downer.

    2. I don’t see any dietary strife here…?

      Oh, the other kind of “paleo”!

    3. Finally, a thread where we can see paleos take on cosmos. We’ve all been waiting for this for a long time given the tension that’s been brewing for decades.

      Thank you, Jordan, for finally allowing us to hash out this unexplored territory.

    4. Yeah, I don’t get it. You aren’t supposed to mention the occupation of a person you are reporting on? And the fact that it happened on the campus where she works makes it somewhat relevant as it means she is familiar with how people generally use and cross that street.

  12. I see nothing wrong with what happened. Perfect professionalism from the cop. Arm takedown was a little weak, though….

  13. Jaywalking is a gateway crime. Let her get away with that “innocuous” misdemeanor, and pretty soon she’ll be on a bank surveillance tape somewhere, waving an AK-47 around.

    1. Spinning around in a park.

  14. At 1:20 it sure looks like a white gal is jaywalking across the street. Why don’t any of the other officers there go nab her?

    I know the answer, but why don’t the officers who show up pull the first one aside and tell him to just let her go? Fuck how can you be a cop and participate in a system where you are expected to back the play of your miscreant coworkers?

    1. “…how can you be a cop and participate in a system where you are expected to back the play of your miscreant coworkers?”

      Because they are miscreants too. Haven’t you ever seen a pack of dogs or baboons get worked into a frenzy? There is no reasonable one to stand up and put a stop to it.

    2. how can you be a cop and participate in a system where you are expected to back the play of your miscreant coworkers?

      You back them up because some day after your wife has been withholding sex and you’re all agitated and angry you can beat the shit out of some innocent person, and they’ll cover for you just like you cover for them.

  15. Good for her that she refused to provide her ID.

  16. I’ll bet she’s a huge government cheerleader and didn’t learn a thing.

    1. I suspect that also, but withholding opinion until more evidence.

    2. And?

      I bet she learned to avoid cops when possible.

      1. Nah. She probably feels that he was a bad apple.

      2. And?

        and nothing. she reaps what she sows without understanding.

    3. Her research interests on her ASU page are:

      Contemproary Rhetorical Theory, Race Critical Theory, Rhetorics of Race & Culture, Composition, Visual and Material Culture Studies

      I think we can safely consider her a hardcore lefty/prog/totalitarian.

  17. She should be thanking him for slamming her to the ground and almost twisting her arm off. She could have gotten hurt jaywalking!

  18. Looks to me that jaywalking is not a crime in Arizona unless you’re obstructing traffic or failing to yield to traffic. In fact, crossing at other than a crosswalk is expressly permitted:

    “28-793. Crossing at other than crosswalk
    A. A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.
    B. A pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.
    C. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.”

    1. Good, I registered to say that. As someone that knows this area, people “jaywalk”, legally and illegally according to statute, all the time in downtown Tempe. I can certify that this incident was not between signalized intersections.

      Another thing, she does NOT have to show ID. She wasn’t driving so Title 28 (motor vehicle code) doesn’t apply. ARS 13-2412 (title 13 is criminal code) says that all she has to do is state her “true full name”. The cop clearly doesn’t know Arizona law. After a legal arrest, which this wasn’t, police could search her and get any ID she might be carrying.

      This is just gestapo bully tactics by a cop that is enforcing laws that don’t exist.

      1. He doesn’t need to know the law. The courts have repeatedly ruled that ignorance of the law is a valid defense, but only for law enforcement

  19. Clearly she is a terrorist and this hero was only concerned about her safety which is why he threw her on the ground to protect and serve her.

  20. Big government’s not so cool when it fucks you, is it professor?

  21. Thwow him to the ground sir?

    Monty Python

  22. That is the socialist arm of the state at work…..aka the police.

    Cop- Ur jaywalking, and I must now see ur ID. Dur, I’m explaining what I think is the law to you.

    Ore: Nope, no reason for me to show you ID, and I wish to continue to freely cross this street.

    Cop- YOU DIDN’T OBEY!!!!! Hu Ha! Judo arm grab!!!

    Ore- Seriously??? Ur lame little grab isn’t shit. Weak little bitch , get off me!

    Cop- WAaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!! Stop resisting and give me ur arm now!!!!! Judo Throw!!!!!! Help me wrestle this terrorist brother cop!!!!

  23. Look at 1:15 in… other people in the background are jaywalking because of the construction obstruction.

  24. Why is her ethnicity relevant?

  25. Don’t make the mistake of reading the comments on CNN or Inside Higher Ed (where it was the headline story). The number of derps and derpettes who were saying ‘you broke the law, lady, deal with it’ is disgusting.

    I don’t always believe claims of ‘profiling’ but this sure smells like it, and a lot of other folks are mad at how the university is rallying around their police.

    It’s always horrifying when commenters actually say what folks on this list parody: ‘Nothing to see here, move along, procedures were followed…’

  26. Um, this isn’t police abuse. The good professor was in the wrong.

    Maybe the police shouldn’t have confronted her, but he did and he did it professionally.

    1. Check up-thread for why you’re wrong.

      Or, hell, just google “Arizona Jaywalking Law”.

      Either way, the goddamn cop was in the wrong. They’re pretty much ALWAYS in the wrong.

      He wanted to cause a problem. Perhaps he needed another arrest to make his performance incentive*.

      *Quota with cash bonus

    2. except for the part where he demanded that she produce ID

      Is it actually constitutional for there to be ID carrying requirements? Does anybody know the status of this?

  27. She’s probably a leftist, so I’m having a hard time giving a hoot.

  28. She picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue, that is all.

  29. According to the comments there, this story’s a hoax. The professor, the policeman…actors. The lawyer, nonexistent or another actor.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.