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Black ASU professor bodyslammed by campus police

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A black Arizona State University professor was bodyslammed, arrested, and charged with assaulting an officer after police stopped her for jaywalking. A newly released video, embedded above, gives weight to her statement that the police acted inappropriately. ASU, meanwhile, is taking the side of the police department, finding "no evidence of inappropriate actions" by the officers involved and denying that racial profiling motivated the cops' response.

Others don't see it that way, at all. From Inside Higer Ed:

Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies, a coalition of ethnic studies professors in the state, has issued a statement criticizing earlier media coverage of Ore's arrest, and the university's response. "Dr. Ore has the right to expect dignified and humane treatment by ASU’s police officers. ASU, as a public institution, has a responsibility to ensure this occurs. Third, ASU has not undertaken a thorough investigation into the matter, so how can officials claim that there is an absence of racial profiling? In a state and metropolitan region in which racial profiling has been proven to be widespread, the ASU administration’s lack of concern for the well-being of an ASU community member of color is unacceptable," the statement says.

An online petition is attracting support nationwide, calling for Arizona State to investigate its police force and to drop charges and apologize to Ore.

The academic blogger Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote after seeing the video: "I wonder what someone like Erusala Ore has to do for her university to decide that she deserves the benefit of doubt, or the suspension of doubt, when a campus police officer arrests her for not showing her papers. Showing one’s papers. By all accounts that’s essentially what the ASU campus police officer asked Ore to produce, her papers. You know, like when enslaved black labor needed to prove they had permission to walk the streets unescorted?"

While the university is standing by its claim that the officers acted appropriately, it has called for an independent investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, Professor Ore still faces assault on an officer charges for allegedly kicking one of the cops after they slammed her on the ground. Her attorney says that Ore was wearing a dress at the time, and that one of the officers grabbed at her.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.