ASU moves to terminate officer who arrested professor

Officer Stewart Ferrin has been told he's out of a job at the end of the month, but his family is rallying support to keep him on the force.

Officer Ferrin has received his termination letter, and ASU says his last day is just weeks before his wife gives birth to their second child.

An attorney says the officer's termination date is set for January 21st; his wife is due with their second child in early February. 

The officer's attorney says they are waging war and will get him reinstated. The officer's mother says he wants his name cleared.

"He did nothing wrong," said Ellen Streiff, Ferrin's mother. Streiff says it came as a surprise when her son got the letter from ASU last week. "He's been dreaming of a career in law enforcement since he was a young child; his father is a 27-year veteran of the Tempe Police Department."

Ferrin is the officer in dash cam video that shows him arresting ASU professor Ersula Ore in May. He reportedly stopped her for jaywalking, she refused to show identification and the incident escalated. Ore pleaded guilty to resisting arrest but accused the officer of wrongful arrest and excessive force.

"Actually the University initially cleared him. Then Prof. Ore went public, and they suddenly placed him on administrative leave that he's been on for five months. His wife is getting ready to deliver a baby the first week of February so they terminate a week and a half before the delivery date which, of course, takes all his insurance benefits because he will no longer be part of the police force," said attorney Mel McDonald. 

In November, Ore's attorney filed an administrative claim against ASU and the police department, seeking 2 million dollars in damages. "That's why we have the protections under the constitution, so that officers like Officer Ferrin do not abuse their authority and are held accountable for doing what he did in this situation," said attorney Danny Ortega.

Ferrin was not charged in connection with the incident. His family has started a website to help Officer Ferrin and his growing family. 

"Miss Ore was convicted in a court and Officer Ferrin is being convicted in the court of public opinion right now," said Streiff.

ASU did not comment on it's apparent change of position in regards to Officer Ferrin. The college did release a statement saying a hearing officer makes recommendations to the Chief, who makes the final decision on discipline. The officer's attorney says they will vindicate his good name and see he is reinstated.

If you would like to help Officer Ferrin visit:

ASU's original statement in the days following the arrest of professor Ore, is in this story and below:

"Arizona State University authorities have reviewed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the arrest of Assistant Professor Ersula Ore and have found that the officer involved did not violate protocol and no evidence was found of racial motivation by the ASU Police Department officers involved.

However, the ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved. In addition, although no university police protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.

According to the police report, ASU Police initially spoke to Assistant Professor Ore because officers patrolling the area nearly hit her with their police vehicle as they turned the vehicle onto College Avenue to investigate a disabled vehicle. Officer Stewart Ferrin had no intention of citing or arresting Ore, but for her safety told her to walk on the sidewalk. When Ore refused to comply and refused to provide identification after she was asked for it multiple times, she was subsequently arrested.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has independently reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal 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. The charge of assaulting an officer is based on the fact that Dr. Ore kicked the officer as is shown on the video and as she admitted in her recorded statements to the police."

ASU's Statement Monday:
The review of the officer's performance, including his handling of the events of May 20, 2014, has entered the phase in which the department will make a final determination about whether discipline is warranted.

All ASU PD officers, who complete probationary status, are classified employees who enjoy the protections of due process under federal and state law.  Any case involving major discipline (demotion, suspension without pay or termination) for an officer includes notice of the offenses and intended discipline, or a written notice of intent.  It also includes a right to be heard, usually in a pre-disciplinary hearing before a hearing officer who is a University employee who does not work for the police department.  That hearing officer makes a recommendation to the chief, who makes a final decision on discipline

Regarding Ms Ore, we can only say that we are reviewing the claim
Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories