Now Playing

Public Defender Alleges the SFPD Unlawfully Detained an Attorney

Here's the shocking video.

Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson being arrested by SF police

Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson being arrested by SF police


San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi is alleging that San Francisco police officers unlawfully arrested one of his office's attorneys, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson, outside a courtroom in the Hall of Justice yesterday after Tillotson asked why police were interrogating her client without her present. Adachi's office has released video of the incident.

According to the Chronicle, Tillotson was put in handcuffs for more than an hour after the encounter, after which she was released. Her client had just appeared in court on charges of shoplifting and, upon exiting, began to be questioned by a plainclothes detective. When told of the encounter, Tillotson rushed over. After detectives began to photograph the client, Tillotson intervened, and then she was arrested. Tamara Aparton, a spokeswoman for the public defender's office, described the arrest to the Chron as "shocking."

The police department has not yet responded.

This isn't the first time—or even the first time this week—that the press-savvy Adachi has used video evidence to shape public opinion. Yesterday, he released surveillance video of a stabbing in Mission that led to the exoneration of a 14-year old originally charged with the crime.


Have feedback? Email us at
Email Scott Lucas at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Scott Lucas on Twitter @ScottLucas86