Embattled ASU officer Stewart Ferrin resigns

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Embattled ASU police officer Stewart Ferrin has resigned from his job with campus police.

Ferrin is the officer at the center of the controversial arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore.

Arizona State University officials released the following statement Monday evening:

"Stewart Ferrin resigned today from his position as a patrol officer with the Arizona State University Police Department. Today’s events follow an investigation into two incidents that occurred less than a week apart last year. At the time of his resignation, the process was underway to make a final determination about appropriate discipline. That process included a review of his performance on duty over the past four years.

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.

Mr. Ferrin’s actions were examined in accordance with state law governing the review of law enforcement officers, and that review showed that he did not act in accordance with the standards of professionalism expected at ASU."

Also Monday night, Ferrin's letter of resignation was posted on the "Support Officer Ferrin" Facebook page.

In the letter, Officer Ferrin writes: "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."

Back on May 20, Ferrin stopped Ore for jaywalking in the middle of College Avenue just south of Fifth Street. She refused to show her identification.

In a dashboard camera recording, Ferrin asked to see Ore's ID, and explained that she was obstructing the roadway.

Ore asked Ferrin to treat her with more respect and explained that many people have been walking on the street to avoid construction in the area.

The officer tried to handcuff Ore and warned that if she did not put her hands behind her back, he was going to "slam" her on the police car.

A struggle ensued, and Ore ended up on the ground with her dress hiked up. Police allege that Ore kicked Ferrin during the struggle, but Ore's attorney says any actions were in self-defense.

Ore was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, failing to provide ID and obstructing a public thoroughfare. She has since filed a $2 million claim against ASU.

Following the release of Ferrin's resignation, civil rights activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin responded with this statement:

"I was surprised tonight to learn of ASU police officer Stewart Ferrin's resignation. The decision was his to make, along with his wife, and I hope it is the best decision for their growing family.

It was my sincere hope that both officer Ferrin and professor Ersula Ore would remain employed by Arizona State University. They are both equally imperfect individuals and made mistakes that caused a national controversy.

It is my wish that we, as a wider community and at the university level, would learn from this tragedy. Black and white, male and female, we must find the strength to love one another as human beings. Communication and a willingness to sit down and talk with others, who may have ignored your orders or violated your civil rights, is the only way we can move forward outside of courtroom battles and competing press conferences.

I wish Officer Ferrin the best. I truly feel that after meeting with civil rights advocates, clergy, and dozens of black women - he understands what he did wrong and what he did right. Forgiveness, reformation, and reconciliation are as important to the civil rights movement as marches and boycotts.

I pray that ASU's administrative and law enforcement leaders continue working, in a progressive way, to address this issue and prevent future incidents. As they digest news of Ferrin's resignation, I hope they also contemplate what to do with Professor Ore. Again, both of these individuals fell short of the university's professional standards and conduct expectations. I think ASU should keep them both and, if that isn't possible, let them both find new jobs.

I am meeting with ASU leaders on Wednesday and will raise this issue with them. I will also to try, with their help, to answer Dr. King's eternal question - where do we go from here? The new American university and the new civil right movement are the best hope for leadership and a way forward in these sensitive and racially charged times."