Letter: Who is the ASU police officer accused of abusing professor Ersula Ore?

Who is Arizona State University Police Officer Stewart Ferrin, the officer who has been accused of abusing ASU professor Ersula Ore?

On May 20, Officer Ferrin arrested Professor Ore on multiple charges, including felony assault on a police officer, following her being stopped for walking down the middle of the road. Ore initially pled innocence and self-defense to the public and national media, but has now pled guilty to resisting arrest and faces up to six months in the Maricopa County Jail’s “Tent City.”

ASU Police reportedly investigated Ferrin’s conduct following the arrest and no misconduct was found. Even with Ore’s guilty plea and ASU officials clearing Ferrin of any misconduct, as soon as Ore’s publicity machine took her plea of being abused nationwide, Ferrin became the target of another investigation and a request by university officials to have the FBI investigate Ferrin for civil rights violations.

In an email to ASU faculty, University Provost Rob Page praised Ore and pointed a veiled finger in Ferrin’s direction. For a man who is a trained scientist and “charged with the stewardship of Arizona State University,” you’d have thought his bias would’ve been kept in check and he’d have at least waited for the results of the FBI investigation before taking sides.

Talk about getting thrown under the bus.

ASU has yet to publicly announce if it is even going to investigate Ore’s criminal conduct and her reported obscenity-laced threats against the officer. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

The portrayal of Ore as the victim and Ferrin as a thug has been well orchestrated. No one has talked about Ferrin as a person.

The following information was obtained from those who know and work with him. Ferrin has been ordered to sit at home and been “gagged” by University officials from speaking for himself.

Ferrin grew up wanting to be a cop like his dad. At 12, he had his own lawn mowing business. He spent 10 years as a Boy Scout and earned the Eagle Scout Award. His Eagle Scout project was organizing and gathering together 50 volunteers to attack Tempe’s serious graffiti problem in a gang-ridden neighborhood. During his 10 years in the Scouts he also served four years with the Mesa Police Explorers, where he was presented with the Prudential Spirit of Service Award for his dedication and volunteerism.

In high school, he worked at a local bank in an internship program. After high school, he used his own savings to pay part of the costs for his Church of Latter-day Saints mission. He served two-years in Chile where he not only held a leadership position among his fellow missionaries, he was called upon to work with the U. S. Air Force as a translator in the massive 8.8 earthquake relief efforts in 2010.

Following his mission he worked full-time and volunteered at the Tempe Police Department where he was again recognized for his service and presented the Presidential Service Award.

He was hired by ASU Police in 2011 to work in communications. Six months later after passing a series of examinations including a psychological evaluation, polygraph test and background investigation he was selected to attend the police academy. He attended the same five-month police academy officers from throughout the Valley attend, including Tempe officers. He then completed an equally long field-training program before being assigned to patrol duties. Because of his Spanish speaking and cultural skills, his fellow ASU officers and Tempe police called upon him often to assist in translations and investigations.

Since joining the ASU PD, his volunteerism has continued with the W. Steven Martin Toy Drive at Christmas and the annual Scottsdale Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program. He has a wife, a child and a baby on the way.

Years of caring and service aren’t the character traits of a badge-heavy police officer that abuses someone during an arrest.

The portrayal of Ferrin as a thug and out of control rogue cop is far cry from who he really is and his lengthy record of service and compassion as a Boy Scout, LDS Missionary, Tempe police volunteer, dedicated ASU police officer, husband and father.

I’d rather have Officer Ferrin responding to help my child who attends ASU than having her in a class with professor Ore.

Bill Richardson

ASU class of 1974

Retired Master Police Officer

Criminal Intelligence Supervisor

Mesa Police Department

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