PUBLIC DEFENDER’S ‘INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY’
TAKES AIM AT BIAS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM
San Francisco, CA — An African American man runs through the streets of
San Francisco, prompting wary glances from onlookers. As he reaches his
home and scoops up his smiling toddler in a hug, a police siren wails.
“Show me your hands,” commands a voice off-camera.
The 30-second video, Innocent Until Proven Guilty, was created pro bono by
Tom Donald Films for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. The PSA is
part of a national campaign launched by the San Francisco Public Defender’s
office to remind people of their Constitutional right of presumed
Jeff Adachi introduces Innocent Until Proven Guilty:
“People should be judged by character, not color,” San Francisco Public
Defender Jeff Adachi said. “In this PSA we are trying to get people to
reflect about their own possible biases and racial profiling. It’s a
reminder that nationality, race or sexual orientation doesn’t
matter—everyone has a right to be judged individually.”
Watch Innocent Until Proven Guilty:
Adachi decided to launch the campaign a series of high-profile studies and
news reports, including:
· An analysis of arrest data in San Francisco’s prostitution stings
(SF Weekly, Stung,6/16/10) found that Latino men may be unfairly targeted
and that some men are being cited without agreeing to sex.
· A string of violent incidents in the Bay Area earlier this year that
ignited tensions between the area’s Asian and African American
· A comprehensive study of racial bias in jury selection by the Equal
Justice Initiative (Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A
Continuing Legacy 6/10/10) found widespread evidence of discrimination
aimed at keeping minorities off of juries in the U.S., with prosecutors
asserting pretextual reasons to justify their removal.