San Francisco, CA — With the city poised at a critical moment in criminal justice reform, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Justice Summit on May 25 will focus on the use of force.

The 2016 San Francisco Public Defender’s Justice Summit: Use of Force will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. The event is free, but seating is limited. All attendees must register at

Author, professor and political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry will deliver the keynote address. Described by Ta-Nehisi Coates as “America’s foremost public intellectual,” Harris-Perry is a social scientist and former MSNBC host known for her scholarly research and provocative conversations around politics, race and gender.

Ken E. Williams, a former Boston-area homicide inspector and use of force expert, will present his analysis of recent and controversial officer-involved shootings in San Francisco, including the deaths of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, and Luis Gongora.

An afternoon panel will explore the pros and cons of arming San Francisco police officers with Tasers. Panelists include Steve Tuttle, one of the founders of Taser International; San Francisco Police Commissioner Petra DeJesus; and Stanford University researcher Akiva Freidlin.

Audience question and answer periods will be provided throughout the day.

Composer and musician Marcus Shelby and poet and actress Jackie Ramos of Beyond the Blues: Ending the Prison Industrial Complex will perform at the event.

The Justice Summit is the premier criminal justice conference on the West Coast. This year’s event comes on the heels of several highly publicized criminal justice scandals, including police officers sending bigoted text messages and officer-involved shootings caught on video.

“When it comes to criminal justice reform, San Francisco is at a crossroads. The Summit is a chance to have difficult but important conversations about racism, use of force, and innovative solutions to make our city safer for everyone,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who has hosted the summit for more than a decade.

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Justice Summit is co-sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco. Attorneys attending the event will earn MCLE credits.

To register to attend this free event and for information on additional speakers, please go to  


9 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:45 a.m. Performance
10 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Author, Professor, and Political Commentator Melissa Harris-Perry
11 a.m.: Presentation: Expert Analysis of SFPD Shootings, including Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Amilcar Perez-Lopez and Luis Gongora cases.
Noon: Lunch provided to RSVPed attendees
1 p.m.: Performance

1:15 p.m. Panel: Should San Francisco Adopt Tasers?
2:15 p.m. Closing Remarks




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