Last May, Officer Stewart Ferrin at Arizona State University stopped 33-year-old assistant professor Ersula Ore, Ph.D., for jaywalking, even though others around her were jaywalking as well. In the video recorded, you clearly see Ferrin unnecessarily roughing up Ore and throwing her down to the ground.
During ASU’s investigation Ferrin fought to keep his job, even though he was on leave, but he’s officially given up and has resigned, after an independent investigation found fault with his arrest last summer.
The university sent Ferrin a letter in January, notifying him of its intent to terminate him. Ferrin appealed the decision.
“The lack of support, cooperation, and downright bias, coupled with an agenda to ruin my career, has become unbearable and I will not subject my family to this any longer,” he said Monday in a resignation letter sent to ASU.
“This review was never about a single incident or a single issue. Law enforcement officers in any jurisdiction are given the tremendous responsibility of helping to keep the community safe. They also are expected to exercise good judgment in the performance of their duties and, when given direction after missteps, are expected to follow that guidance,” ASU stated on Monday.
Ferrin committed multiple ASU police- and university-policy violations when arresting Ore, including those involving judgment, legal authority, search and seizure, alternatives to arrest and code of conduct.
The officer had no reasonable basis for arresting the professor for obstructing a road when she was walking down the street, and he wrongfully arrested her for refusing to provide ID, according to the report. The investigation says a pedestrian can cross the road as long as he or she yields to vehicles, and evidence suggests Ore yielded to the officer’s patrol car.
There was no evidence that the officer’s actions were racially motivated, as alleged last summer by civil-rights activists.
Five days before Ore’s arrest, an ASU researcher filed a complaint based on Ferrin’s actions in another incident. The officer was directing traffic when he demanded the researcher’s ID and threatened to arrest him for disobeying commands to use another crosswalk. That incident was handled “inappropriately,” the report said, because the researcher had crossed the street legally and posed no hazard to others. Ferrin was counseled to exercise better judgment and good communication. The counseling took place before the incident involving Ore.
Sounds like someone needs to find a new career path, because this one is done.