Supervisors call for charges to be dropped against 1971 killing suspect

Two San Francisco supervisors will count among protesters rallying outside the San Francisco Hall of Justice Friday morning in defense of Francisco Torres, the only remaining defendant of eight arrested in 2007 for allegedly killing a police officer nearly 40 years ago.

Supervisors Eric Mar and John Avalos will join Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP and a former supervisor, in calling on Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop the charges against Torres in a protest scheduled an hour before Torres faces a court hearing.

Torres was one of seven people charged eight people who were once members of the militant Black Liberation Army and whom prosecutors suspect of conspiring to kill 51-year-old San Francisco police Sgt. John Young at Ingleside Station on Aug. 29, 1971.

The case has been very controversial from the start. The men were originally arrested in 1975 but charges were dropped after a judge ruled that some evidence against them had been obtained through torture.

Since the 2007 arrests, two of the defendants, already serving life terms for other crimes, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Prosecutors have dropped charges against all other defendants because evidence was insufficient or because the statute of limitations had expired.

The only remaining defendant is Torres, whose fingerprint was found on a lighter near the crime scene, police allege.

The protest will be held at 8 a.m. at 850 Bryant Street, where Torres’s hearing will be held at 9 a.m.
 

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