San Francisco, CA — Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson released the following statement today on the San Francisco Police Department’s decision not to pursue resisting arrest charges against her for objecting to officers questioning and photographing her client outside a courtroom.
“While I appreciate Chief Suhr’s apology, I am concerned that he continues to support Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s actions. My client, a young African American man, was left without the benefit of advice of counsel. The right to counsel is not a formality. It is a shield that protects ordinary people against intimidation, bullying, and overreach by law enforcement. Sgt. Brian Stansbury appears to have a history of violating the rights of African American men and I look forward to a thorough investigation by the Office of Citizen Complaints,” Tillotson said.
Tillotson filed an OCC complaint today against the officers involved in her Jan. 27 arrest (tillotson.occ complaint) The San Francisco Public Defenders Office released additional footage today of Tillotson being roughly led to Southern Station by Officer Brian Kneuker, who then admonishes a witness to stop taping the encounter. That footage can be seen at: http://bit.ly/1zkOsdo
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the incident demonstrates a need for additional education on civil rights and protections.
“We believe that SFPD is vital need of training so that constitutional violations are not perpetrated on citizens in our community,” Adachi said.