Dismiss the case against Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson
Please sign and share the petition to urge the DA to dismiss the "resisting arrest" case against San Francisco Public Defender Jami Tillotson. A uniform is not a license to bully people out of their constitutional rights!
On Jan. 27, 2015, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was unlawfully arrested outside a courtroom as she attempted to protect her client’s right to counsel.
Cell phone footage, taken inside the San Francisco’s Hall of Justice , shows San Francisco Police Sgt. Brian Stansbury arresting Jami 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 Jami for resisting arrest as a uniformed officer places her in handcuffs. Jami, 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 Jami to a holding cell, where she remained handcuffed to a wall for approximately an hour. After Jami 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 Jami the reason for the detention.
“Public defenders have a duty to protect the constitutional rights of their clients,” Jami said. “It was surreal to be led away in handcuffs for doing my job, something I do every day.”
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi called the arrest "outrageous and disappointing."
“This is not Guantanamo Bay. People have an absolute right to have their attorneys present during questioning,” he said.
- San Francisco District Attorney
I strongly urge you to dismiss the resisting arrest case against Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson. The right to counsel is a fundamental constitutional right. Ms. Tillotson's insistence on being present while her client was being questioned was not a crime. It was her duty as a public defender. I believe that charging her with a crime would be an affront to the rights and freedoms all Americans cherish.
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