On June 27, a video was released of an Arizona State University English Professor being arrested by campus police officers. Professor Ersula Ore was approached by officials after she jaywalked on university grounds. The incident occurred last month; Professor Ore walked in the middle of the street in Tempe, Arizona because of construction that did not allow her to fully walk on the sidewalk.
According to CNN’s “New Day” segment, Professor Ore recalled how her arrest occurred. She relayed, after jaywalking two Arizona State University police officers drove their car alongside her while she walked to her car. One officer then asked her if she knew the difference between the road and sidewalk, referring to her crossing the road at the intersection. Professor Ore replied: “Do you always accost women in the middle of the road and speak to them with such disrespect and so rudely as you did to me?” Professor Ore also noted, the police officer never asked for her name or told her why she was being questioned for jaywalking.
After asking the police officer to be respectful in regards to his tone of voice, the two begin to argue and the tension between them escalated. The officer explained: “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.” Professor Ore, again explains to the officer that she has no issue with abiding to the law but believes his tone is insolent. After explaining the law again, the police officer requested Professor Ore put her hands behind her back. She resisted his request and the police officer told Professor Ore he will slam her on the police car. Professor Ore said again to not speak to her in such a manner and at that point dashboard camera footage from the officer’s car shows the two fighting, with Professor Ore thrown to ground while screaming and her underclothes exposed.
Once the officers picked Professor Ore up, she kicked them — her attorney, Alane Roby, claims it was self-defense. Arizona State University released a statement about the case to KTVK which reads:
“ASU authorities have reviewed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the arrest of Assistant Professor Ersula Ore and have found that the officer involved did not violate protocol and no evidence was found of racial motivation by the ASU Police Department officers involved. However, the ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved.”
KTVK also reported Professor Ore will be charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage and obstructing thoroughfare. She plans to fight these charges.
Despite the clear evidence of Professor Ore being racially targeted, what are your thoughts on this peculiar arrest? Below is video footage of the incident.