The arrest of ASU English professor Ersula Ore caught the nation’s attention last year, and now she’s fighting back with a $2 million claim against the university.
On May 20, 2014, Ore was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal damage, refusal to provide truthful name and obstructing a public thoroughfare. She later pleaded guilty to one count resisting arrest, and the other charges were dropped.
Ore was sentenced to nine months probation.
The notice of claims she filed in November accuses ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin of excessive force, false arrest and violation of her federal rights to due process, azcentral reports.
Financial, emotional and psychological damages resulted from the arrest in May, according to the claim, and Ore said she feels degraded and humiliated.
“She also continues to suffer from confusion and anxiety that she is not safe in the presence of uniformed officers,” the claim states.
Ore was crossing a street on the ASU campus in Tempe when Officer Ferrin stopped her and asked for identification. She refused to give ID and questioned why she was stopped, sparking confrontation between the two.
“Personally I’m wondering what about me seemed to be a threat, so much so that it warranted an officer touching me and violating me,” Ore said before Superior Court Commissioner Julie Mata last year.
Ore reportedly kicked the officer in the shin, and Ferrin threatened to “slam” her onto the hood of the police car.
Witnesses of the confrontation called police when the Ferrin became aggressive, throwing Ore to the ground.
The police car’s dashboard camera recorded the confrontation, and the video made national headlines leading civil groups to believe that racial profiling was involved in Ore’s arrest.
ASU recently notified Ferrin that he would be fired, but Ore’s attorney, Daniel Ortega, said his client will continue to press charges regardless of the result of Ferrin’s termination hearing.
The university is currently reviewing the claim, ASU spokesman Mark Johnson said.
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