San Francisco Public Defender Files Complaint After Wrongful Arrest,

Andrew Meyer

San Francisco Public Defender Files Complaint After Wrongful Arrest, Police Chief Apologizes

Two weeks ago, the story and video of a San Francisco public defender arrested for protecting her client’s Fifth Amendment rights went viral.

After deputy public defender Jami Tillotson blocked police from talking to her client and demanding he pose for photos, San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian Stansbury told Tillotson, “If you continue with this, I will arrest you for resisting arrest.”

Tillotson said, “Please do,” and Stansbury proceeded to wrongfully arrest a deputy public defender.

Now Tillotson has filed a complaint against the six SFPD officers that arrested her. An excerpt of her statement is below.

Following Tillotson’s “unreasonably rough” arrest, she was led to a “secure zone” inside the Hall of Justice, as a newly released video shows an officer telling a man recording Tillotson’s arrest that he must turn off his camera because they’re in a “secure zone.” That video is below.

The video of Tillotson’s arrest was seen 1.4 million times on YouTube and the charge against her has been dropped. Police Chief Greg Suhn gave a half-hearted public apology during a meeting of San Francisco’s Police Commission as he attempted to defend Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s behavior.


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