During her walk home after teaching classes at Arizona State University, English professor Ersula Ore was stopped by police for jaywalking. Video footage from the police dash provides evidence that Ore was walking in the middle of the Tempe, Arizona street. The footage also provides a clear picture as to why such a routine incident has received national media attention.
According to this CNN article, the interaction between Ore and the police officer became volatile, ending in the arrest of Ore. After she was asked by the officer to produce her ID, Ore became defensive, Officer Ferrin in turn threatened to arrest the professor.
“If you don’t understand the law, I’m explaining the law to you. The reason I’m talking to you right now is because you are walking in the middle of the street.” Officer Ferrin explained to Ore.
The dashboard video provides that Ore explained to the officer that she was walking in the road to avoid construction. As Officer Ferrin began to cuff Professor Ore, Ore became belligerent, “Don’t touch me. Get your hands off me.” The officer then warned Ore if she did not comply, he would slam her into the car. As she resisted, Officer Ferrin forced Ore to the ground, Ore’s skirt rising up in the process, revealing her anatomy for anyone in close proximity to see.
As the officer pulled the professor from the ground, Ore kicked Ferrin in his shin. Ore is facing charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, failing to provide ID and obstruction of a public thoroughfare.
In a written statement to CNN, Ore’s attorney wrote, “Professor Ore’s one crime that evening was to demand respect that she deserves as a productive, educated and tax paying member of society.” Further elaborating, “She can clearly be heard on the dash video instructing the officer not to grab toward her genital area prior to him reaching for her in an attempt to pull her skirt down.
The university stated that it did not find evidence of inappropriate actions from the officers involved.
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