Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rally and Press Conference to Drop Charges Against Francisco Torres of the SF8

Rally and Press Conference to Drop Charges Against Francisco Torres of the SF8
by The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights

Press conference on Oct. 9th at 8am, prior to Francisco Torres' 9am court hearing at 850 Bryant Street.

San Francisco Supervisors Eric Mar and John Avalos, and Reverend Amos Brown, President of the SF NAACP, will join supporters of the San Francisco Eight at 8AM Friday, October 9th, at 850 Bryant Street, to call on Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop charges against Francisco Torres. A court hearing for Torres is scheduled for 9 AM.

Mr. Torres is the only remaining defendant of the SF 8, elders formerly associated with the Black Panther Party, who were arrested two and a half years ago in connection with the 1971 shooting of SF policeman John Young.

In July 2009, Attorney General Jerry Brown dropped all charges against Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones and Harold Taylor for "insufficient evidence". Charges were dropped against Richard O'Neal in 2008. Two other defendants, Jalil Muntaqim and Herman Bell, were offered and accepted pleas to greatly reduced charges, receiving probation and time served. Mr. Torres was offered a plea as well, but turned it down and maintains his innocence.

Last week an open letter calling on Jerry Brown to drop the last charges was published in the Guardian, signed by international and local leaders including Rev. Dr. Desmond Tutu, former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, actor Danny Glover, San Francisco Supervisors Eric Mar, John Avalos and Chris Daley, SF Board of Education President Kim-Shree Maufus and VP Jane Kim, Archbishop Franzo King, Minister Christopher Muhammad, and Rev. Amos Brown, as well as labor leaders, educators, organizers and activists across the state and nation.

Soffiyah Elijah, Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, said "The original charges in this case were thrown out of court in the mid 70's when the issue of torture was exposed. Our Constitution requires that this prosecution be ended. The attorney general must drop the charges against Francisco Torres and begin the process of healing for everyone concerned."

SF Supervisor Eric Mar, Supervisor John Avalos, Rev. Amos Brown, Attorney Chuck Bourdon, and former SF 8 defendant Richard Brown will be available to speak to the press.

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