A Message from Public Defender Mano Raju:
“I am honored to accept the James Madison Freedom of Information Award for our CopMonitor database. Thank you to the Society of Professional Journalist – Freedom of Information Committee of Northern California for recognizing the work of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office in our active pursuit of transparency around policing.
The CopMonitor database comes out of our core work to defend our clients and protect their rights, but it flows into our commitment to the public to share critical information about who is policing our communities. I’m incredibly grateful to our Integrity Unit — Danielle Harris, Zac Dillion, Brian Cox, and Carolyn Goossen; and to Jacque Wilson and Tiffany Le, who filed early requests for many of these records that the public is entitled to see.
Because of our proximity to communities that have the most contact with police, and our mandate to fight for our clients, Public Defenders are uniquely positioned to gather and share public information that for too long has been difficult to access. We hope CopMonitor can be a model for nationwide transparency.”