Target: San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón
Goal: Charge police sergeant who allegedly arrested public defender for protecting her clients’ right to have an attorney present.
Police arrested a public defender without explanation as they tried to question and photograph her clients without her present. The police claim she was resisting arrest and interfering with an investigation, but she says she was just carrying out her legal responsibility of ensuring her clients were not questioned without counsel. Video evidence captured on a camera phone allegedly shows the defender questioning police, but in no way full-on resisting arrest.
Public Defender Jami Tillotson was reportedly taken away and chained to a wall for an hour while police went ahead and both photographed and questioned her clients without their attorney present. Not only is this a violation of an absolute right by law, it’s despicable that this woman was chained up for an hour because she attempted to defend her clients’ rights. When Tillotson questioned police, they allegedly gave no reasoning or clarification and simply threatened arrest.
It wasn’t until the story gained media attention that the officers attempted to provide some kind of explanation into their actions. Sergeant Stansbury is already in the midst of trouble for another case where he is being accused of racial profiling. Stansbury is supposed to set a positive example for the rest of the force. Violating constitutional rights and arresting those who defend those rights is anything but a positive example, and Stansbury needs to be held accountable for his inexcusable actions.
Dear District Attorney Gascón,
Police Sergeant Brian Stansbury arrested Public Defender Jami Tilloton without explanation after attempting to question and photograph her clients without Tillotson present. The police claim she was resisting arrest and interfering with an investigation, but she was simply protecting her clients’ constitutional rights by ensuring they were not questioned without an attorney present. Video evidence shows exactly what happened in the police overstepping their boundaries.
Sergeant Stansbury is already in trouble in another case and is supposed to set a positive example for the rest of the force. Violating constitutional rights and arresting those who defend those rights is anything but a positive example, and Stansbury needs to be held accountable for his alleged inexcusable actions. I urge you to charge Brian Stansbury in the unlawful arrest of Jami Tillotson and for allegedly attempting to violate her clients’ constitutional rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: keithallison via Flickr