On May 20, 2014, Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor in the English Department at Arizona State University (ASU) was making her way home having just concluded teaching a summer course for the evening. During the course of her journey home, Dr. Ore was stopped and questioned by an ASU police officer who was presumably assigned to patrol the area located just off campus. After a brief 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 those looking on.
Eye witness accounts of the incident, including video evidence, support Dr. Ore’s assertion that the officer did not inform her of why she was being stopped, that the officer did not inform her of her rights after arresting her, and that the officer engaged in excessive force during her detention. Dr. Ore was subsequently charged with the counts
1. Felony Aggravated Assault on an Officer
2. Misdemeanor Damaging/Defacing Police Property
3. Misdemeanor Obstruction/Refusal to Identify
4. Misdemeanor Obstruction of Public Thoroughfare
It is believed that the Arizona State Police Department has engaged in what can best be described as an effort to discredit Dr. Ore and defend the actions of one ASU police officer to avoid liability. Dr. Ore vigorously disputes the charges that have been outlined by police and fully intends to fight the charges in a court of law. With no prior police record, eye witness accounts of the incident, and recorded video evidence, Dr.Ore is confident that the criminal case against her will be dismissed once she has an opportunity to tell her side of the story.
As Friends & Supporters of Dr. Ersula Ore we are concerned. The timing of this incident was unfortunate. But, despite her busy academic schedule, Ersula has committed herself, with the support of family, colleagues, community leaders and a robust network of friends, to fighting these charges. As Ersula is still at the early stages of her career and in academe, her financial resources are limited. To ensure that Ersula’s name is cleared and the charges are dismissed, she intends to mount an aggressive, yet appropriate legal defense. For this reason, we are asking each of you, as a network of individuals who have supported Ersula at various stages of her life and professional career, to provide whatever monetary support you can. Any amount will help.
Ersula has retained the legal services of a prominent Phoenix-based criminal defense attorney and 100% of the proceeds raised will go towards fighting the criminal charges set forth by the police department. A trust account has been opened in Ersula’s name at Arizona State Credit Union where donations can be deposited directly.
Thank you all in advance for your support, love, prayers and humor during this very difficult time for Ersula.
At this time, Ersula has been advised by her attorney not to comment directly or respond to any inquiries related to the case.
The Friends of Ersula J. Ore Committee