Public Defender Claims Police Arrested Her For Trying To Defend Client's Rights (Video)

| by Lisa Fogarty

A San Francisco Deputy Public Defender was reportedly arrested and handcuffed to a wall for one hour because she refused to allow her client to be questioned and photographed.

Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was caught on video refusing to leave her client as San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury reportedly attempted to take a photo of him inside of the Hall of Justice on Tuesday, reports CBS San Francisco.

On the video, Stansbury can be heard saying, “I just want to take some pictures, ok? Then he will be free to go.”  Tillotson tells him not to take the photos, at which point she is reportedly told she can either remove herself from the scene or be arrested for resisting arrest.

Tillotson holds her ground and is reportedly removed by police.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi issued a press release condemning the treatment of his colleague, who is an 18-year veteran of the public defender’s office.

Adachi claims Tillotson was arrested simply for doing her job and refusing to allow her client to be questioned without her present. He called the arrest “outrageous” and said she was then forced to be handcuffed to a wall in another room for one hour. In that time, Stansbury reportedly continued to photograph and question her client and another man who did not have an attorney.

“This is not Guantanamo Bay. People have an absolute right to have their attorneys present during questioning,” Adachi said.

Tillotson spoke out at a press conference after her arrest, saying, “Public defenders have a duty to protect the constitutional rights of their clients. It was surreal to be led away in handcuffs for doing my job, something I do every day.”

Stansbury is already reportedly in the public eye, as he is one of three San Francisco police officers involved in a racial profiling lawsuit filed by another officer who was off-duty at the time he says he was unfairly stopped and arrested.

A spokesman for the police department reportedly said Tillotson was arrested for obstructing police officers and that a criminal investigation is currently taking place.

Source: CBS San Francisco/Photo Credit: CBS San Francisco