Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Statement on Passing of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi


February 23, 2019

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Statement on Passing of

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi

San Francisco, CA — The staff and Board of Directors of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi passed away last night. Jeff was a valued member of our Leadership Council and a tenacious ally in our work on criminal justice reform and immigrant rights, as well as a former volunteer during the early days of the Asian Law Caucus. Many immigrants facing deportation received legal representation because of an innovative program he implemented at the Public Defender’s Office. Jeff also fought tirelessly alongside directly impacted immigrants and the local FREE SF coalition in San Francisco to defend and strengthen our Sanctuary Ordinance.

Please attribute the following statement to Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Executive Director Aarti Kohli:

“Jeff Adachi had a selflessness and zeal that are exceedingly rare in this world. He was a true public servant whose passion in the pursuit of justice stood as a shining example for all San Franciscans. As the child and grandchild of interned Japanese Americans, Jeff knew the cost of mass incarceration and the structural racism that drives it. He dedicated his life to advocating for victims of police misconduct and community members ensnared by our fundamentally broken criminal justice and immigration systems.

Jeff will be deeply missed, not only by those of us fortunate to work with him at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, but by all those who were inspired by his work on behalf of San Francisco. We will strive to continue fiercely advocating against the criminalization of vulnerable community members in his honor. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jeff’s family and all the dedicated members of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office at this difficult time.”


Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political, and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, we are committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a special focus directed towards addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant, and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


Media Contact: Christina So, (415) 848-7728,

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