The Vanguard Staff
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Sometimes juries can see through unfair charges, and believe not everyone is a serial killer, despite what law enforcement or district attorneys may suggest.
That’s what happened here in San Francisco Superior Court this week when a jury acquitted a 20-year-old of charges for speeding on the Bay Bridge last August, and “child endangerment”—her passenger was a friend who was 16 years old.
The CHP didn’t ticket her, as is normally the case, but arrested her and booked her into SF County Jail—during the pandemic when jails and prisons faced difficult times. She was charged with two misdemeanors—for reckless driving and the so-called “child endangerment” count.
Deputy Public Defender Latisha McCray said video evidence showed she did not cause a disruption on the bridge, and both the driver and the passenger had their seat belts fastened. There was very little traffic on the bridge at the time due to the pandemic and the late time of day, said McCray.
“My client was not willing to take a bad deal on a case that grossly overcharged her, nor accept the conditions of a settlement which could have marred her record and impacted her career aspirations. I am glad that the jury understood that she was not guilty of the charges,” said DPD McCray.
Her boss, San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju, was also outraged at the charges.
“Our client should have never been arrested nor charged criminally. This is a case that should have, at worst, gone to traffic court,” said Raju.
He added, “Something of this nature never should have been taking up space in criminal court, which is currently impacted by an enormous backlog of cases due to the pandemic. I am proud of Ms. McCray for her advocacy in this case.”