ASU professor sentenced to 9 months of probation
ASU professor gets 9 months probation for resisting arrest in incident that sparked national attention
State University English professor Ersula Ore, who was arrested for
alleged assault after a confrontation with an ASU police officer, has
been sentenced to 9 months probation after a hearing on Friday in
Maricopa County Superior Court.
Ore pleaded guilty to resisting arrest earlier this month and her attorney said at the time that the plea deal did nothing to change their view that the arrest was unlawful.
I'm wondering what about me seemed to be a threat, so much so that it
warranted an officer touching me and violating me," Ore said before
Superior Court Commissioner Julie Mata. "I am hurt, upset, angry and
humiliated. I deal with fears on a regularly hourly basis –they wake me
up at night."
Ore said she had a moment of weakness questioning
the arrest, but felt that she could no longer trust whether those in
uniform were there to help or hurt her.
Ore was arrested May 20
after she refused to provide her identification to an ASU police
officer who stopped her for walking in the middle of the street in
Tempe, according to police documents.
Ore said she believes she
was wrongfully arrested and that her arresting officer used excessive
force during the incident, which sparked national news coverage.
struggled with ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin during the arrest and
kicked him in the shin during the process. Ferrin warned Ore that he
would "slam" her onto his vehicle if she did not comply, according to
footage from the dashcam video.
Eyewitnesses expressed concerned
while the arrest was made, with one calling 911 to report the officer
pulling Ore to the ground aggressively.
"I never once saw a single
solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a
street ... in a campus location," Ore says in the video.
Some of Ore's supporters have said she was racially profiled for jaywalking.
attorney Alane Roby stressed repeatedly that Ore did resist arrest by
asking Ferrin why she was being apprehended, though should be granted
leniency given she has no criminal history and that extended probation
time would be an unnecessary drain on state resources.
Roby asked Mata specifically for one day of supervised probation.
supporters packed the courtroom and included many ASU faculty and
friends. Among those was English Professor Keith Miller, who has known
Ore for the last several years and took over the summer school course
she was slated to teach prior to the incident.
"She's a good professional, she's a good person and she's not a danger to anyone," Miller said in court.
County Attorney Doug Mangum told Mata he believed there had been
positive and negative aspects for both parties involved in the incident,
however that the state felt 9 to 12 months was a sufficient amount of
time to accomplish the goal of probation.
"The state fully
recognizes she has a lot of support from the community but we are here
for the sentencing of a criminal case," he said. "We certainly hope that
is not lost."
police administrators, in their preliminary review of the incident,
said they did not believe Ferrin had racially profiled her or used
Ferrin was later put on paid administrative leave
and the school's police department asked for an outside review of the
Ore was visibly upset following the sentencing, with
Roby thanking supporters outside the courtroom on her behalf. She said
she was disappointed the proposed one day of supervised probation was
"I would have liked to see that but the reality is
nine months of probation--as long as someone is successful--can very
easily turn into four," Roby said. "We do believe that her
constitutional civil rights were violated and we're not going to let