Judge rules against ASU Police in second controversial arrest case

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 7 at 9:46 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. --- As the FBI prepares to review the controversial arrest of an Arizona State University professor by campus police, a second, similar case involving a student is also winding its way through the court system.

Faith Maxson, then an 18-year-old, was parked in a lot near Wells Fargo Arena in May of 2013 with her friend.

ASU Police say they frequently patrol the lot after dark, and consider it a high crime area.

When officers approached Maxson, they asked for her identification.  She began to take it out, but says she reconsidered, and refused to hand it over.

"I told him, 'You have no authority over me,' because I wasn't doing anything illegal," she told 3TV.

Police say Maxson became "physically combative," as they tried to remove her from the car.

"There wasn't any kicking.  There was flailing and movement, but there wasn't any aggressive hitting toward the cop," Maxson recalled.

In video recorded by an officer, Maxson is seen screaming, "You cannot do this to me!  Under law, you cannot do this!"

"I feel the way I wanted to exercise my rights as a human being.  I saw what they were doing  as unlawful in how they approached me and how they pulled me out of the car," Maxson said.

She was arrested, and badly bruised.  Some of the bruises on her face and arms are now visible scars.   Maxson claims officers were overly aggressive, rough, and pushed her face against the pavement.

ASU Police say Maxson was hitting her own head against the asphalt.

The officers tied Maxson's wrists and ankles together, and searched her.  An officer recorded this part of the altercation, but not the portion in which Maxson sustained her injuries.

"[The officers] were doing their job by keeping an eye out [for crime in the area].  But once they approached her....and saw there was no crime and no danger to anyone, they should have broken contact," Maxson's attorney, Nick Moutos told 3TV.

"The actions of law enforcement personnel, when they exceed what they should be, is a matter that should raise concern," Moutos added.

The judge in Maxson's case agreed, partially.   She ruled, "there was no reasonable suspicion to justify the demand for identification."

Still, she ruled a jury could decide whether the amount of force Maxson used while resisting arrest should be considered appropriate self defense, or excessive against the officers.

Maxson's attorney has requested a delay in her case.   They hope to use information from the FBI investigation into Professor Ersula Ore's recent controversial arrest, in Maxson's case.

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