CONTACT: SF Public Defender’s Office – – (628)249-7946


SF Jury Acquits Man of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence 

Defense Presents Case of Self-Defense

SAN FRANCISCO – This week, a jury acquitted a San Francisco man of misdemeanor domestic violence after Deputy Public Defender Cooper Findlay presented a case of self-defense that ended a 14-month old case that hindered the man’s job prospects. 

“My client and I are grateful that the jury listened to the testimony, reviewed the evidence, and made the right decision,” said Mr. Findlay. 

In June 2020, police responded to a 911 call and a woman with injuries. She accused her live-in partner of hitting her, but according to Mr. Findlay’s client, his partner was drunk when he came home and she physically attacked him. Although Mr. Findlay’s client told police on the scene that he had acted in self-defense, no pictures were taken of his injuries. He was arrested and charged with domestic violence.

After spending six days in jail, he was released under the conditions that he would attend weekly anger management classes and bi-weekly meetings with Assertive Case Management, with which he complied. During this time, he was looking for work, but had a potential employer turn him down because they had found the arrest on a background check.   

In preparation for trial, Mr. Findlay learned that the woman had not only attacked his client before, but had also been arrested for attacking a previous intimate partner. An investigator from the Public Defender’s Office located the ex-partner who agreed to testify.

“Domestic violence is a very serious situation that no one should have to suffer, but the consequences of a false accusation are also serious,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju. “In these challenging situations, it can be difficult for jurors to set aside assumptions, but Mr. Findlay and his team did an excellent job uncovering and presenting the fuller picture.” 

Mr. Findlay will be connecting his client with the San Francisco Public Defender Clean Slate program which assists people with clearing their records of past arrests which can often be a hindrance to job opportunities.



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