Embattled ASU officer meets with civil rights activists in 'lemonade summit'

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Embattled ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin. By Catherine Holland Embattled ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin. By Catherine Holland
The arrest was caught on a dash-cam video on May 20, 2014. By Catherine Holland The arrest was caught on a dash-cam video on May 20, 2014. By Catherine Holland
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin on Tuesday afternoon. By Catherine Holland The Rev. Jarrett Maupin on Tuesday afternoon. By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. -- An embattled ASU police officer took the hot seat Tuesday as he sat down with civil rights activists in south-central Phoenix.
 
Stewart Ferrin's job has been on the line since video of him struggling with ASU professor Ersula Ore went viral.
 
"We ought to extend the hand of fellowship instead of a fist of division," said the Rev. Jarrett Maupin.
 
Maupin met with Ferrin at a soul-food restaurant in the heart of the black community.
 
"What I hope we have here is not just a meal but also a dialogue about who he is and who they are," Maupin said.
 
Last May, Ferrin stopped Ore for jaywalking and she refused to show her identification.
 
The incident escalated from there and was all caught on Ferrin's dashcam.
 
Ferrin said meeting Maupin was a chance to tell the black community his side of the story.
 
"I'm a law enforcement officer.  We go out there and enforce the laws. As a police officer I don't take race, or ethnics or religion into anything I do as a law enforcement officer," Ferrin said.
 
Maupin said he previously thought Ferrin used excessive force and that his actions were racially motivated.
 
However, he changed his mind after meeting Ferrin.
 
"Black women had asked over the last several weeks, 'Who is this man? Is he different from the person we see on tape?" And I think patently that he is, and by being here today I think it will give them the chance to judge him not by the color of his skin or by the uniform he wears, but by the content of his character," Maupin said.
 
Ferrin has been granted a reprieve from being fired for the incident.  His fate now rests with the university's new chief of police.
 
Maupin says he will call the chief on Wednesday and ask him not to fire Ferrin.
 
"I'm just grateful to get the story out there a little bit and let people know who I am as a police officer, as a family, as a father and to be able to receive the community support that law enforcement needs today," Ferrin said.

RELATED: