Public Defenders Hold ‘Hands Up’ Protest, Vigil

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Crime, Law

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Published on December 18, 2014 with 1 Comment

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi joined hundreds of public defenders across the Bay Area today in a coordinated protest against racial injustice and to stand in solidarity with protesters in New York, Ferguson and across the nation over a recent spate of controversial police killings of unarmed black men.  Photo by Richard Bui.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi joined hundreds of public defenders across the Bay Area today in a coordinated protest against racial injustice, and to stand in solidarity with protesters in New York, Ferguson and across the nation, over a recent spate of controversial police killings of unarmed black men. Photo by Richard Bui.

From the office of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi

December 18, 2014

San Francisco, CA—More than 200 public defenders and allies held a “hands up, don’t shoot” protest today on the steps of San Francisco’s criminal courthouse to show support for racial justice and stand in solidarity with protesters in New York, Ferguson and around the country.

While San Francisco public defenders rallied outside 850 Bryant St., public defenders in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano counties staged similar actions today at their county courthouses.

Speakers included Cephus Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant and founder of the Oscar Grant Foundation; Chris Hite, co-chair of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Racial Justice Committee, which organized the rally; and Yolanda Jackson, executive director of the Bar Association of San Francisco and the executive director of the Justice & Diversity Center.

“There are few organizations in the United States that have closer ties to the black and brown members of our society than the public defender offices through the nation,” said Deputy Public Defender Chris Hite, co-chair of the Racial Justice Committee. “We felt it was essential to cast a light upon the racial injustices of the black and brown in our communities and to celebrate the notion that black and brown lives matter.”

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Racial Justice Committee formed in 2013 to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system and to advocate for reform in police detentions and arrests, prosecutorial charging and sentencing. The committee has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Quattrone Center to study the impact of race on the criminal justice system in San Francisco.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi called for accountability on behalf of victims of racial profiling and police brutality.

“As public defenders, it is our responsibility to ensure that there is justice for all in the courts,” Adachi said. “We are here to say that our criminal justice system has no credibility when it fails to hold police officers accountable for the killing of black and brown people.”

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Racial Justice Committee is currently working on a plan for police department reform in light of the recent spate of police killings of unarmed black men around the country.

  • CondemnCop’sBrutality

    San Francisco’s cop brutality not only abuse common people’s civil rights, now they dare to abuse Public Defenders” due right now.