Civil Rights

Lawyer arrested while representing client in courthouse hallway sues city and police

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Image of Jami Tillotson’s arrest taken from video provided by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.

Arrested and handcuffed in the hallway of the San Francisco Hall of Justice earlier this year, as she attempted to represent a client during a police interview, an assistant public defender has now filed a federal civil rights suit.

Jami Tillotson says she “lives in a state of embarrassment” as a result of the Jan. 27 incident, which was captured on a video taken by other public defenders that went viral. Although authorities declined to pursue an obstruction and resisting arrest case against her, she spent about an hour in a holding cell.

In her Wednesday lawsuit, Tillotson says she suffered “anxiety, humiliation and the loss of a sense of security, dignity and pride as a United States citizen,” as well as damage to her professional reputation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The suit names the city, the officer who handcuffed her and five other officers as defendants and seeks unspecified damages.

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