S.F. Chief Police Officer William Scott justifies a raid by journalists alleging a criminal conspiracy

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Among the national disputes, William Scott, San Francisco's Chief Police Officer, is following his request to a reporter's house to refuse to disclose a source name. On Tuesday, Scott had a news conference to say that he was suspected that independence reporter Bryan Carmody was involved in a criminal conspiracy to get documents issued by a person within the police department.

“Our actions show that we believe Mr Carmody suspects in a criminal conspiracy to steal this secret report,” Scott said at a news conference, referring to a police report on the death of public defendant Jeff Adachi.

However, Scott had difficulties in contributing to the First Amendment protections and state laws, which separate reporters who collect government leak documents for news operations – normal activity in the profession. Scott said that Carmody had only received and distributed the report.

To get the report, Scott said, the department believes Carmody was in contact with a police officer. But he rejected questions about how these actions escaped the typical role of an independent reporter selling videos, additional reporting and documents to local outlets, as Carmody did in this case.

Carmody went “doing his job as a journalist,” said Scott. The police are investigating whether Carmody is paying a source for the document. Carmody told the Washington Post that he does not pay sources.


Around 10 police officers showed that independent reporter Bryan Carmody goes on Friday, he says. The use of a sledgehammer to break down his front gate into this photograph is from his security system. (Courtesy Bryan Carmody)

Concerns arose among the free speech advocates and the public about the raid and seizure of documents and equipment that police violated clear laws to protect journalists.

“There is a continuing deep misconception of the city government about what reporters do, and why it is protected under the US Constitution,” said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, a non-profit speech advocacy group.

On May 10, officers succeeded in being in Carmody door with clover, Carmody, handmade, and took a hard drive, with phones and with other documents, the account included. That raid came two weeks after Carmody refused to tell investigators who provided the report to him.

“We know it looks bad,” said Scott because of the use of sledgehammer. “I'm not here to try and protect the raid.

Scott Carmody, a “stringer” citizen, identified as a reporter, although he refused to answer a question at the conference about whether his profession was listed in the search warrant signed by a judge.

Thomas Burke, solicitor for Carmody, said he was looking forward to the warrant being unsealed. Coalition filed First Amendment motion to detain it.

Scott said his office did not consult with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón during the warranty process. “That communication would help him,” Scott acknowledged.

Gascon said Tuesday the office has not seen the warrant or the facts that support it. “But without demonstrating that a journalist broke the law to get the information the police are looking for, I can't imagine that a search warrant would be suitable,” he wrote on Twitter.

The police department and Gascón office did not send back an application for views asking whether investigators sent copies of the warrant to the Attorney General's office, which appears to be a requirement under the general orders of the department.

The two Supreme Court judges who each signed a search warrant for the home and office of Carmody, Victor Hwang and Gail Dekreon, previously signed questions to the court spokesman Megan Filly. She said that they were prohibited from a traffic state code on a pending case.

News media associations condemned the Association of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital Television Association, the police action.

“It is a matter of great concern,” said Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer. “Why did they get a search warrant rather than be confident that they would have done it if it worked for the local newspaper” – he put a subpoena.

Carmody, 49, is located in a small corner of the industry, working every night from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to chase news as it comes over police scanners.

He then sells photos, videos and interview footage to television stations to make their morning broadcasts. He told An Post that he had sold his work on Adachi's death report far less than the $ 2,500 suggested by Scott.

Read more:

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. (tagsToTranslate) Bryan Carmody (t) reporter in francisco (t) Jeff Adachi

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