Update:Police Arrest Public Defender For Refusing To Allow Police Intimidation Of Her Clients

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The San Francisco deputy public defender who was arrested at the Hall of Justice for allegedly obstructing police filed a misconduct complaint Thursday against the city officers who handcuffed her when she questioned why they were photographing one of her clients outside a courtroom.

Attorney Jami Tillotson took her case to the civilian Office of Citizen Complaints after Police Chief Greg Suhr told the Police Commission late Wednesday that the department will not pursue charges against her. Suhr apologized “for any distress Ms. Tillotson suffered as a result of her detention,” but he stood by the actions of Sgt. Brian Stansbury and the other officers who arrested the lawyer.

Suhr’s announcement came at the same meeting in which the American Civil Liberties Union called for a review of police policy, saying last week’s courthouse incident, which was filmed and viewed on YouTube millions of times, raised serious questions about tactics and racial profiling. Tillotson’s client is black.

“While I appreciate Chief Suhr’s apology, I am concerned that he continues to support Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s actions,” Tillotson said in a statement Thursday. “My client, a young African American man, was left without the benefit of advice of counsel. The right to counsel is not a formality. It is a shield that protects ordinary people against intimidation, bullying, and overreach by law enforcement.”

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