Woman’s Arrest Spurs Protests Outside Hall of Justice

A 23-year-old transgender performing artist and filmmaker was arrested for what her friends call self-defense.

A local San Francisco artist, Davia Spain, was arrested on Friday on suspicion of domestic violence, battery, and burglary — but her friends say it was all an act of self-defense.

Bay City News reports that protestors gathered outside the Hall of Justice Monday morning, to deliver a petition to District Attorney George Gascón’s office demanding her release. The petition gathered more than 1,700 signatures over the weekend.

Spain is a Bay Area native, who graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in anthropology. She’s worked at nonprofits LYRIC and BAVC, and is now a trans employment associate at the SF LGBT Center, which tweeted out this message on Saturday:

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said his attorneys are “confident” that Spain was acting in self-defense.

“This was a situation where the encounter occurred and she was forced to defend herself, this was not a situation where she was the attacker or the aggressor, so for that reason we want this charge to be dismissed,” Adachi said.

According to a representative from the Public Defender’s Office, Spain was put in a men’s pod after her arrest, but was later moved to a section of jail specifically for transgender women.

Gascón’s office is expected to make a decision on charges later today.

Update, 1p.m. The Public Defender’s Office states that the charges against Spain will be dropped.

Related Stories