SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The San Francisco public defender whose arrest last week at the Hall of Justice went viral after being posted on YouTube has now filed a complaint against the officers involved, the city’s Public Defender said.
Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was arrested for obstruction of justice when she objected to police officers questioning her client about another crime unrelated to their case outside a court room.
Police Chief Greg Suhr issued an apology after Wednesday night’s police commission hearing, and said the department will not pursue charges against Tillotson.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi told KCBS that while the apology was appreciated, there is concern that the chief continues to support the officers involved in the arrest prompting Tillotson to file with the Office of Citizens Complaints.
“We certainly don’t want to see this happen to anyone else in the future and if this is happening at the Hall of Justice–right outside of court–it makes you wonder what’s happening out there on the streets,” Adachi said. “This situation is endemic of a problem not only in the San Francisco police department but across the country. And a lot of what we are seeing with the Black Lives Matter rallies and…call for reform has to do with the way that police officers are abusing their powers.”
He said the complaint alleges that the officers involved used heavy handed tactics and have a history of violating the rights of African-Americans.
In the video, Tillotson is seen refusing to step aside as a man identified as San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury tried to take a cellphone picture of her client.
Adachi hopes that the investigation will lead to better training for officers within the department.
The San Francisco Police Department declined KCBS’ offer to comment on the allegations or the complaint.