Media Advisory: Forensic Experts, Criminal Justice Advocates Call For Independent Crime Lab

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WHAT: Public defenders, private attorneys and forensic experts will convene Thursday, March 25 to discuss next-steps following evidence of widespread evidence tampering in the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab and call for the city’s crime lab to be managed by independent scientists. The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office has retained the leading consultant in crime lab management, Jim Norris, to provide recommendations.

WHEN: Thursday, March 25

20 minute media availability begins at 12 p.m.

WHERE: San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

555 Seventh St.

Members of the media will meet on second floor to be escorted upstairs.

WHO:

  • Jim Norris, former director of the San Francisco Police Department Forensic Services Division, former president of the California Association of Criminalists and member of the California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors and Law Enforcement Video Association.
  • Jeff Adachi, public defender for the City and County of San Francisco
  • Bicka Barlow, forensics expert and deputy public defender
  • Private attorneys practicing criminal law in San Francisco

WHY: Allegations of stolen drug evidence, contaminated DNA samples, chain-of-custody problems and sloppy record keeping have raised dire concerns about supervision of the SFPD Crime Laboratory. Criminal justice and forensic professionals are voicing support for a lab run by unbiased scientists, not police officers with stake in the outcomes of evidence testing.