San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.

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Police Chief Stands By Raid Of Journalist's Home

Matt Bigler
May 16, 2019 - 9:22 am

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott defended the department's raid of a freelance journalist's home last week under intense questioning from the city's police commission on Wednesday. 

"I'm confident that we took the appropriate legal matters," said Scott.

Police seized computers, documents and other items from the home and office of Bryan Carmody as part of the department's investigation into who leaked a report about the death of public defender Jeff Adachi to members of the news media.

Carmody obtained the report and sold it as a package to television stations in the Bay Area. 

Commissioner John Hamasaki had questioned Scott whether the search warrant for Carmody's home was in compliance with the state's shield law that protects journalists from demands to reveal their sources and the First Amendment's guarantee of press freedom. 

Attorney Bradley Moss, a specialist in freedom of information matters, told KCBS Radio there are exceptions to the shield law. 

"They may have had sufficient evidence and sufficient bases for conducting it and believing in good faith that they had exception to the shield law," said Moss. "But time will tell on that one."

Several free speech and journalist advocacy groups have condemned the raid, citing the shield law and demanded police return Carmody's equipment. 

Carmody has vowed to protect his source's identity.