Under Pressure, Cop Who Assaulted Black Female Professor Resigns

By Julianne Hing Feb 17, 2015

Stewart Ferrin, a 25-year-old Arizona State University police officer, resigned Monday after a lengthy controversy following his violent arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore last May, the Arizona Republic reported. And he did so in dramatic fashion.

In a letter he wrote to ASU police chief Mike Thompson, Stewart wrote that the 7 1/2 months he spent on paid administrative leave from his job "caused great financial stress and emotional anguish" by preventing "lateral opportunities" with prospective employers, and possibilities for more training and promotions within the agency he currently served. 

Last May, Ferrin stopped Ore, who’s a professor in the university’s English department, for jaywalking. Video eventually showed that Ferrin and other officers strongarmed Ore, and eventually threw her to the ground.

What started as a volatile incident between the professor and the police officer soon became a lengthy legal and political drama. While ASU initially backed Ferrin and said he hadn’t violated any policies that evening, Ore was charged with resisting arrest and other crimes. She pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and is currently serving a nine-month probation sentence, the Phoenix New Times reported. Investigators with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office also all subsequenty concluded that Ferrin was guilty of no wrongdoing, the Phoenix New Times reported. 

In November Ore filed a $2 million legal claim, a prelude to a lawsuit, against Arizona State University and alleged that she was falsely arrested, the Arizona Republic reported. On January 21, ASU notified Ferrin they planned to fire him. Ferrin’s "rigid, power-based approach to law enforcement and unwillingness to exercise discretion and sound judgment culminated in [him] arresting Dr. Ore without a lawful basis," Ferrin’s boss Chief Thompson told him the letter notifiying him of his termination.

"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," Ferrin wrote in his letter published by the Arizona Republic (PDF). 

Dash cam video of Ore’s arrest is up at YouTube.