In May, my friend Ersula, an assistant professor at Arizona State, had a run-in with a police officer—one that seems pretty clearly a case of racial profiling and police violence. The ASU ethnic studies faculty summarize the events in their call for an investigation:
On the evening of May 21, 2014, Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor in the English department at ASU, was walking home from campus after teaching a summer course. Dr. Ore, who is African American, was stopped and questioned by a male ASU police officer patrolling the area in his vehicle. After a short exchange with the officer, a brief physical altercation ensued in which Dr. Ore, who was wearing a dress, was forced up against the officer’s car and then onto the ground, fully exposing portions of her lower body to the public. Eyewitness accounts of the incident, including video evidence, support Dr. Ore’s assertion that the officer did not clearly inform her regarding why she was being stopped or inform her of her rights, and engaged in excessive force during her detention. Despite these questionable circumstances, however, Dr. Ore has subsequently been charged with felony aggravated assault on the officer, among other charges.
My friend Amy has compiled links to information on her Facebook page:
In late May, Ersula walked home from teaching her summer class at Arizona State University, where she is an assistant professor of English. She was crossing a street that was obstructed due to construction when she was racially profiled by ASU campus police, who proceeded to stop her, harass her, manhandle her, slam her onto a car and onto the ground, and arrest her. She is now facing felony charges.
More information and video footage of the incident can be found here:http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/ASU-professor-arrested-on-campus-accusing-officer-of-excessive-force-264991871.html
ASU has refused to investigate the incident and ASU ethnic studies faculty have responded here: http://azethnicstudies.com/archives/565
Ersula’s friends have set up a website for her where you can can contribute towards her legal defense fund. Please do so even if it’s just a few dollars: http://erslegaldefense.com/index.php/4-how-you-can-help
There’s a Facebook page set up for people who would like to follow the situation. Please go “like” it: https://www.facebook.com/supportfordrore
Finally please sign this petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/justice-for-professor.fb51?source=s.fb&r_by=5911694
And please SHARE this widely. I will continue to post information as it becomes available.