ASU professor gets probation for resisting arrest

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 4 at 10:33 AM

PHOENIX -- An Arizona State University professor who pleaded guilty to resisting arrest was sentenced Friday to nine months of supervised probation.

Before learning her sentence Dr. Ersula Ore made an emotional statement to the judge.

"Parts of me are wondering what about me were perceived to be a threat, so much of a threat that it impeded my ability to cross a street," Dr. Ore said.

The ASU Professor pleaded guilty in July to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and in exchange, three other charges, including a felony count of aggravated assault, were dismissed.
 
ASU police said Ore was stopped for walking in the middle of a street near campus in May and refused to show any identification. They said she kicked Officer Stewart Ferrin in the shin after being handcuffed.

"On May 20, 2014 I was not treated like a person, I was not treated like a criminal, I was treated like less than a human being," Dr. Ore said.

She has maintained the arrest was unlawful and that Officer Ferrin used excessive force.
 
A review by the ASU Police Department found that Ferrin did not engage in racial profiling or use excessive force.
 
Ferrin is on paid administrative leave while the FBI conducts an investigation to determine if there were any civil rights violations.

The prosecutor for the county attorney's office told the court today while they understand Dr. Ore has a lot of community support, no criminal history and no concern she will be in front of a judge again a crime was still committed and they wanted to remind the court of that.

"That is to make an understanding clear that we are here for criminal conduct and we are here for the sentencing of criminal conduct and the state certainly hopes that message is not lost," Ryan McCarthy said.

Dr. Ore owned up to her role in this incident telling the judge, "I know now that my mistake was questioning the officer, if I didn't question it maybe this wouldn't have happened."

There were a number of family, friends and colleagues present at the sentencing Friday to support Dr. Ore.

Her attorney asked the judge for a more leniant sentence of just one day of supervised probation saying not only has her client taken responsibility but she will never do this again.

That request was denied and Ore received nine months supervised probation.

After the hearing her attorney hinted that while the criminal case is done, this is not over yet.

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