What started as a jaywalking stop quickly escalated, leaving an Arizona State University professor facing felony charges.
But she’s claiming she was defending herself.
Dr. Ersula Ore was arrested on campus in May, and newly-released dash-cam footage shows a struggle between her and campus police was prolonged and predicated on a perceived “lack of respect,” KTVK reported.
Ore was walking in the street, ostensibly to avoid nearby construction, when a campus police officer driving by stopped and asked to see her ID.
Things quickly got ugly.
Ore refuses to provide ID, arguing that jaywalking had become commonplace in the area because of the construction and saying that the officer was treating her disrespectfully.
“Let me see your ID or you will be arrested for failing to provide ID,” the officer says.
“I have no problem abiding by the law,” Ore responds, “but all I’m asking, do you have to speak to me in such a disrespectful manner?”
The officer explains the law and commands Ore to put her hands behind her back, but she continues to demur.
“Put your hands behind your back right now,” the officer eventually threatens. “I’m going to slam you on this car. Put your hands behind your back.”
“Don’t talk to me like that,” Ore says. “This entire thing has been about your lack of respect for me.”
The two scuffle, and the officer winds up throwing her to the ground while she screams and other officers jump in.
As she’s handcuffed, she turns for one last kick at the officer with whom she’d been arguing.
She now faces felony charges of “assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare.”
Her defense attorney told KTVK that she was acting in self-defense.
The ASU Police Department stated that after reviewing the video, supervisors found “no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved.”
Ore teaches English at ASU, with research interests in such topics as “Race Critical Theory” and “Rhetorics of Race & Culture.”
ThinkProgress tagged the story under “Racial Profiling” and connected it to another arrest of a black academic.
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