Although it is imperative he be fired, the physically abusive officer who arrested professor Ersula Ore has been placed on leave by his university. The incident took place a month ago, and now Ore's making publicity appearances on television news shows including CNN. Just as the cop's job is in jeopardy, in all likelihood so is Ore's.
Ersula Ore is the Arizona State University writing professor who was stopped for jaywalking in Arizona. She had legitimate reasons for taking the route she did (there was construction). And she wasn't treated nicely by a campus cop.
Raise your hand if you have been coddled by a cop when you're wrong.
Ore teaches rhetoric and composition, a job that trains students to be reasonable communicators, but Ore's decision to reason with a robocop like police officer suggests she may be overworked. Ore had just gotten out of class and was on her way home.
The university has completed one investigation and is conducting another. I fear Ore's job is in jeopardy. She has criminal charges for assaulting a cop. And the cop has a bruise. A jaywalking ticket would have been best.
An ideal resolution is for the cop take Ore's rhetoric class next semester. Maybe meet for a beer with the campus prez. College campus police officers should be really good communicators, reasonable, and above all empathetic. It is clear this officer was not.
Still, there are five reasons I can't support the petition in support of Ore.
1. Arizona has race issues.
This is the state that rescinded funding or banned completely cultural diversity programs in high schools. There is no compelling reason to expect anyone employed by any level of Arizona's government (including college professors and their cops) will be culturally sensitive. The state has mandated this as fact.
2. Lack of awareness, total disregard for our Driving While Black syndrome
In general, black people, specifically our black bourgie sect (black bourgies are folks with higher education degrees) operate under the umbrella of driving while black. That means we do not drive drunk. We do not congregate in public places intoxicated. We do not shoplift. We don't get turned up with cops.
Black Americans are raised with an implicit understanding that cops are not our friends, not on our side, and nine times out nine will arrest us with or without probable cause. Consequently the black bourgie sect does whatever's necessary to keep cops away.
Ersula Ore did not do that. When a cop approaches, is aggressive and unfriendly, it may or may not be because you're black. That cop may be as afraid as conflict and confrontation as the next person, and fear causes all humans as well as animals to behave aggressively or retreat.
3. Video Surveillance
Video surveillance cameras in parking lots, corner stores, and police cruisers are a physically abused and falsely accused person's best friend. Generation Y, unlike Generation X, was born under big brother. Cameras are usually everywhere and more often than not we are being watched as we carouse public places. Ore's capture on camera may do her case more harm than good. A civil rights lawyer couldn't defend Ore's response to being stopped in an NBC interview. That means the Arizona cop defender doesn't even need to be a good lawyer to defend him.
What's worse, this legal issue puts the university in a bad spot. Two fighting coworkers is what the school is dealing with.
4. Squabbling with a public servant.
Ore's a college professor at a public university. Like that cop, she is a civil servant and her job is to help people. When people who get paid to help people are treated unkindly by the people they are paid to help, the people who did the mistreating are usually in big trouble.
"Are you serious" isn't a good question to ask a police officer who has told you he would arrest you. Silence and feigned humility is a better response. Keep in mind, a campus cops killed white kid in December. Ore's a professor. She could have told him that, it may have helped. Professors love their work badges. Flash it like bling.
Jaywalking isn't a serious offense. A ticket is just a quota a cop has to meet, and a petty one at that.
With this particular cop there is no reasonable expectation that he would not have cited Ore for jaywalking. However, bourgie parents teach their kids as early as six to be respectful, brown nosers when stopped by police officers. Showing someone (particularly a civil servant in a thankless job) a little courtesy and a lot of respect goes a long way. It's the difference between a fine and no fine at all.
Admit it. If you've been driving long enough, there's at least one story you can share of an Officer Friendly who gave you a pass.
5. Fight your civil rights battles in court, not on the street.
If Ore felt the cop was discriminating and abusive because of race or sex, she had an obligation to see a winnable discrimination lawsuit through. Just as bourgie black folks are conditioned to stay away from legal troubles, we are equally conditioned to fight for what's right in court. People who have been discriminated against, physically traumatized, falsely accused and/or falsely detained prefer financial compensation for their inconvenience.
Ore's fight is a hundred times harder because her squabble with an authority figure led to her arrest. Again, she lives in Arizona, she could have prudently protested her ticket or her experience in court.
I won't sign the petition in protest of Orse's arrest. No one is immune to a horrible cop, not even noted and respected scholar Henry Louis Gates. A cop on a night beat is a bad challenge.
When the opponent is physically stronger and armed submit. There's plenty of time to beat him or her in court.