When a (White) Public Defender Knows His Rights
- By: chesa.boudin
- On: 03/31/2017 11:54:37
- In: Chronological
I'm a white, Ivy-league educated public defender.
One night on my way to meet a friend at a bar in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, I happened upon the police arresting an older black man. I began recording the arrest on my cell phone. To my surprise the police detained me, tried to seize my phone and threatened to arrest me if I wouldn't cooperate with their investigation. By vigorously asserting my rights, I was able to walk away unscathed.
I used the video to file a complaint against the officers which was sustained by San Francisco's Office of Citizen Complaints. There is lots I'd have done
differently but the interaction shows how farcical the notion of "consensual encounters" with police is. If I were a person of color, the interaction might have ended very differently.
You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/nmOrWi0GQmo