In most cases, folks arrested while demonstrating in SF are given a citation (like a traffic ticket) and released. This either happens at the site of arrest, a temporary processing station set up by SFPD (like Pier 27 in 2003), or at one of the local police stations. Sometimes people are taken to County Jail 9, where they are booked, and then cited and released. Those with more serious charges (felonies, violent misdemeanors, etc.) are usually booked and held at County Jail 9 until the legal team arranges their release, they are bailed out, or they have their first court appearance. In the past, minors have been taken to the local stations and can only be released to a parent or legal guardian.
San Francisco Police Stations and Detention Centers
County Jail 4 (SF Sheriff’s Department) – main booking
415 7th Street
Enter on 7th.
- Prisoner records: 553-9505
- SFSD main number: 554-7225
- Jail medical staff: 553-9830
(Local Station for South of Market, Embarcadero, China Basin)
850 Bryant St., 1st Floor
(Local Station for Financial District, Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, etc.)
766 Vallejo St.
(Local Station for Western Addition, Pacific Heights, Marina, etc.)
1125 Fillmore Street
301 Eddy St.
County Jail 5 (San Bruno)
San Francisco OR Project
The OR (Own Recognizance) Project assists in trying to obtain early release for individuals who have been booked (generally, people arrested on felony charges), based on their community ties to the area (friends, family, work, etc.) to show that they are likely to show up to their court hearing. More info on OR here
Main number – 552-2202
Other Useful Numbers
- SF District Attorney’s Office – 553-1751
- SF Public Defender’s Office – 553-1671
- SF Public Defender’s Office (Juvenile Division) – 753-7600
- SF Criminal Court Clerk – 551-0651, 551-0322
- SF Police Department Public Affairs Department – 553-1651
- SF Police Department Chief of Police – 553-1551
- SF Mayor’s Office – 554-6141
Property Release (in San Francisco)
If you had property taken by SFPD follow the steps below to get your items returned. Although most protest arrests are for minor offenses that often get reduced or dropped, in general, there can be risks of incriminating yourself by claiming property. If the property you are claiming is connected to a serious criminal investigation think twice or consult a lawyer before identifying yourself as the owner.
The Police Department has a legal obligation to care for any property it collects or confiscates whether it was at a demonstration or anywhere else. If your property was lost, damaged, or destroyed by the police you may file a claim against the City and County of San Francisco for compensation. You have six months from the date of the incident to file a claim form to reserve your right to sue the city in small claims or in civil court.
Steps for Property Returned (in San Francisco):
- Find your incident report number- If you were given a citation, the incident number appears in on the citation usually hand written near the bottom.
- Get a property release from the General Work Division of the SFPD (850 Bryant St. Room 411- (415)553-1141). You will usually need to bring some identification and proof of ownership to have the item returned.
- Bring your release form and your identification to the SFPD property room (850 Bryant St. Basement level- (415)553-1377.
- If you are told that there is an “Evidence Hold” on your property we recommend that you consult with a lawyer to have the hold lifted.