Video: Deputy Public Defender Unjustly Arrested

San Francisco, CA — San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi today released video showing a deputy public defender being unlawfully arrested outside a courtroom as she attempted to protect her client’s right to counsel.

The cell phone footage, taken Tuesday afternoon inside the San Francisco’s Hall of Justice , shows San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury arresting Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson for refusing to let her client, a young African American man, be questioned without the presence of his attorney.

Stansbury, the subject of a 2013 federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a black SFPD officer alleging racial profiling, cites Tillotson for resisting arrest as a uniformed officer places her in handcuffs. Tillotson, an 18-year veteran of the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, remains calm and courteous throughout the video, telling Stansbury and five officers that she is representing her client and is not resisting arrest.

Officers took Tillotson to a holding cell in Southern Station, where she remained handcuffed to a wall for approximately an hour. After Tillotson was led away, Stansbury photographed and questioned her client and another young man who did not have an attorney present. Officers refused to tell the young men or Tillotson the reason for the detention.

“Public defenders have a duty to protect the constitutional rights of their clients,” Tillotson said at a noontime press conference Wednesday. “It was surreal to be led away in handcuffs for doing my job, something I do every day.”

Adachi called Tillotson’s arrest “outrageous” and “disappointing.”

“This is not Guantanamo Bay. People have an absolute right to have their attorneys present during questioning,” he said.

The Public Defender has requested a copy of the police report in the incident and has demanded both an explanation and an apology.

“A uniform does not give you a license to bully innocent people into submission,” Adachi said. “If this happens to a public defender in front of her client, I can only imagine what is happening on our streets.”

Video of the incident can be found at http://bit.ly/18vHKXS or watch it below.

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Comments

  1. […] On January 27, 2015 San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury arrested San Francisco Deputy Pub… […]

  2. […] You can watch the video here. “I’m going to arrest you for resisting arrest,” is a pretty strong tip-off that there is no valid arrest being made — especially where he had just said the other man would be free to go after having his picture taken. Resisting what arrest? […]

  3. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  4. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  5. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  6. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  7. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  8. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  9. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  10. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer’s arrest, which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  11. […] YouTube video showing the lawyer's arrest which was released by the San Francisco Public Defender's Office has been seen almost 1.4 million times. It begins with Tillotson standing between two black men […]

  12. […] had represented one of the men earlier that day, according to Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who released cellphone video of the arrest (below). The video shows Sgt. Brian Stansbury asking Tillotson to step […]