SF deputy public defender Jami Tillotson says she was only trying to protect her client's constitutional right to counsel on Tuesday when she was handcuffed and arrested by SFPD officers at the Hall of Justice. SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi is outraged about the situation, and the office has just put out a release along with the above video, showing Tillotson's arrest. She was told she was resisting arrest, but the video clearly shows her being quite calm and not resisting as she's handcuffed.
What happened right before this video, as the Chron is reporting, is that Tillotson was in a courtroom holding tank with another client when she heard that this client was being questioned in a hallway by plainclothes police officers without her being present. He and a co-defendent had been in the building making an appearance on the second floor on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge when the officers approached the pair in the hallway and began asking them questions about their height and weight, clearly in connection with a different crime.
As the Public Defender's Office spokesperson explains, "[Tillotson] told the interrogating officer that she was the attorney and he said, 'I just need two minutes with him.’ When she asked why, he just said it was a police investigation. Then he started basically bullying her, telling her she’s interfering."
The Public Defender's Office also points out that the arresting officer, Police Inspector Brian Stansbury, was the subject of a 2013 federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a black SFPD officer alleging racial profiling.
Tillotson was held at Southern Station for an hour, during which time her client was apparently photographed and questioned by police.
We'll let you know if more develops out of this, or if we learn what case the questioning pertained to.