Log in

Group seeks more details about raid on California reporter

Posted 8/20/19

Group seeks more details about raid on California reporter

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ , Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A nonprofit that advocates for more open and accountable government …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Group seeks more details about raid on California reporter


Group seeks more details about raid on California reporter

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ , Associated Press
(AP) — A nonprofit that advocates for more open and accountable government sued San Francisco Mayor London Breed and city police on Tuesday after failing to get access to records about a controversial police raid on a freelance journalist. The First Amendment Coalition said in its lawsuit that it is seeking to know who within the police department authorized officers to search the home, office and phones of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody. It also wants to understand the role elected leaders played in a raid that alarmed journalism advocates. Police investigating the leak of a salacious police report into the February death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi showed up at Carmody's home and office on May 10 and tried to break down his front gate with a sledgehammer and pickaxe. The officers handcuffed Carmody for six hours before seizing his property. The open government group filed public records requests seeking details about the raid, but the police department denied its requests. The requests to the mayor's office "have yielded a smattering of documents that plainly falls far short" of what California and San Francisco law require, the nonprofit said in court documents. San Francisco judges later quashed five separate search warrants police requested to search Carmody's home, office and phones and have unsealed four of the five affidavits filed in support of the them after Carmody and the First Amendment Coalition sued. The judges also nullified the warrants, which were issued by different judges over several months as police continued their investigation, despite California's shield law, which protects journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and specifically prohibits police searches. David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said the affidavits shed light on what went wrong when the judges authorized the search warrants in violation of a shield law that protects journalists from revealing their sources. "But the question that has not been answered is who is ultimately to blame for this egregious violation of a journalist's rights," Snyder said. "We'll review the lawsuit thoroughly once we've been served with it, and we'll respond accordingly in court." John Cote, spokesman for the city attorney's office that represents the police department and the mayor in the case, said the office will review the lawsuit once it's served with it. "We'll respond accordingly in court," Cote added. Carmody has worked for decades as a freelance journalist or "stringer," selling video and interview footage to news outlets. He said he was given a report into the sudden death of Adachi, which occurred suddenly and was later found to be an accident because of cocaine and alcohol toxicity with heart disease as a contributing factor. Carmody said he did not pay for the report but sold it as part of a package including video and photos to media outlets. He carries a press pass issued by the San Francisco Police Department. Breed initially defended the searches before backtracking, saying in a tweet that police "went through the appropriate legal process to request a search warrant." In a follow-up tweet, she said she wanted police to get to the bottom of the leak, but also, she was "not okay with police raids on reporters." Police Chief William Scott also initially defended the searches, saying that Carmody had "crossed the line" and conspired with police employees to steal the report. Days later, he acknowledged the searches were probably illegal. ___ Associated Press writer Janie Har contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.