Police Officer Arrests And Detains Defense Attorney So He Can Illegally Question Her Client (VIDEO)

A San Francisco police officer literally took away a defendant’s right to an attorney in the middle of a courthouse when he handcuffed and detained a public defender so he could interrogate her client.

As she was standing just outside of a courtroom on Tuesday, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson found her client being questioned and photographed by San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury. As a defense attorney, Tillotson knows that this is a violation of her client’s constitutional rights, so she immediately stopped the interaction by inserting herself between police and her client.

But instead of backing off, Stansbury threatened to arrest Tillotson on a trumped up charge of resisting arrest if she didn’t allow him to interrogate and harass her client at will without her being present. Tillotson refused, insisting that she has a duty to represent her client. Stansbury then handcuffed Tillotson and hauled her to a jail cell while officers continued to blatantly disregard her client’s rights. She remained there cuffed to a wall for an hour.

Here’s the video of the incident via YouTube.

Stansbury’s actions didn’t sit well with the Public Defender’s office. Public Defender Jeff Adachi called the police actions against Tillotson “outrageous” and compared the incident to something that would happen at Guantanamo Bay.

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

Tillotson also blasted the police for preventing her from defending her client and expressed shock that police would go to such lengths to question someone.

“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.”

Once again, police officers are caught on camera violating the rights of others. The fact is, Tillotson had every right to defend her client. Officer Stansbury had no legal standing to arrest Tillotson and he certainly had no right to question or harass her client. But he arrested her anyway and guaranteed that he could have complete and unrestricted access to her client.

Not only should Stansbury be fired for this act of injustice, the Public Defender’s office should slap the police department with a hefty lawsuit and insist that all the dirty cops who participated in this charade be disciplined or dismissed. Stansbury and his fellow officers violated the Constitution. Specifically, the Sixth Amendment, which reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

By arresting and removing a client’s lawyer, the police clearly shredded this part of the Constitution and demonstrated why Americans don’t trust the police. This is an open and shut case against cops who have overstepped their authority.

Featured Image courtesy of Wikimedia.