San Francisco, CA – Deputy Public Defender Jami Tilletson spoke out at a press conference about her arrest for “resisting arrest,” calling it “shocking.”
“Shocking” seems to be an understatement since the only crime committed in this video looks like it was on the part of the plainclothes officer who makes it clear that if Tillotson doesn’t allow him to question her client and take photos right then and there, she will be arrested…for resisting arrest.
Police say that the plainclothes officer that arrested her (as heard on the video) only detained her, releasing her an hour or so later, and that he acted appropriately. I have included two videos, one is the full arrest of Tilletson and the other the news broadcast showing that the police may honestly have no idea what appropriate action is.
The entire situation begs the question: What kind of unlawful nonsense is this cop (and possibly his colleagues) doing off camera if he will do it shamelessly on camera?
The charge of resisting arrest should not, in my opinion, be able to stand alone. Without cause for an arrest to be made the actual charge should be False Arrest. This is the state of the criminal justice system in America, our Public Defenders are blamed (sometimes rightly so) for failing us by lack of effort, but the fact is that in a country where your representative can be arrested and taken away while you are detained, questioned and photographed; lack of effort is not the problem.
If there is no reasonable expectation that your Lawyer can defend you from an illegal act by the police what good is the 5th and 14th Amendments as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law?
It seems to me that the real problem is a concerted and driving effort to create a police force that is above the law, and a community that is without recourse. Gee, I wonder why so many poor, so many disenfranchised, so many minorities claim that they are the victims of a system that is set up to make them fail. It seems they may be on to something when a police officer can flout the law on camera and the “Police” are able to determine that the actions were correct without oversight.
How would you imagine realizing that there is no chance for justice for you would look like? Now that we have been assured by the police that the plain clothes officer, who seemed to be in too much of a hurry to be bothered with things like due process, did no wrong it would seem that there must be more to this arrest than a simple abuse of power. Well, if the following video is any indication there wasn’t.
It seems that appropriate action is to arrest lawyers on bogus charges so that any officer can question and photograph their client(s) without any silly laws or rights getting in the way. Officers like this know the ‘Good ‘Ol Boys’ network has their backs. What does this young man learn? Not even a lawyer can protect you from police abuse of power.
As far as I can see there was no inappropriate actions on Tillotson’s part, and it is clear she is under arrest for resisting arrest. What are the chances this officer will be punished? Slim, I suppose, since the police are claiming no wrongdoing on the part of the officer.
I hope a civil suit is filed and it goes all the way to the Supreme Court. These carte blanche maneuvers by police must be stopped. Logic may not count for much, but it seems pretty obvious that you can’t resist an arrest which is illegal to begin with simply because you’re doing your job.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image via Huntress’ Uncommon Sense