San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi remembered as a warrior for poor and minority communities

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Wednesday night, longtime San Francisco public defender, Jeff Adachi was remembered as a warrior for poor and minority communities.

A passionate crowd of hundreds, chanting, "long live Jeff Adachi," gathered outside the San Francisco Public Defender's Office on Seventh Street and later marched to City Hall.

Adachi, 59, died after a medical emergency last Friday night. While there are still questions about the details surrounding his death, Adachi's friends, colleagues and family members focused on Adachi's dogged pursuit of justice and reform within the criminal justice system.

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"Jeff would wants us to remember that our clients are still here," said Alameda County Public Defender, Brendon Woods. "Jeff would want us to remember that right here, in California, in our communities, black and brown people are being over prosecuted and over policed."

"Jeff was on a crusade to end the school to prison pipeline," exclaimed longtime San Francisco deputy public defender, Jacque Wilson.

Wilson said Adachi fought for students and led many efforts to help San Francisco youth "in the classroom, rather than the courtroom."

Gwen Woods, whose son, Mario Woods, was shot and killed by San Francisco Police officers in 2015, spoke to Adachi's widow, Mutsuko Adachi, who watched on quietly with tears in her eyes.

"There's not going to be another one like your husband to speak for the voiceless. Black, brown and poor communities, black, brown men and women," said Woods.

A public memorial for Adachi will be held Monday.
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