Search widely criticized as a violation of press freedom.
The Examiner has done very solid reporting on this threat to all journalists. It is,no doubt about it, an assault on the free press. For this to happen in Progressive San Francisco makes it all the more disturbing.
Excerpted from San Francisco Examiner 5.14.2019
As San Francisco police face backlash from across the nation for raiding the home and office of a freelance journalist, Mayor London Breed on Tuesday declined to condemn the action.
Referring to the search warrants police obtained against freelancer Bryan Carmody last week, the mayor said in a statement that the department “went through the appropriate legal process to request a search warrant, which was approved by two judges.”
“I believe that someone from within the department needs to be held accountable for the release of this information,” Breed said. “The police need to continue that internal investigation using legal and appropriate means.”
Questions remain about the reasons judges Victor Hwang and Gail Dekreon had for issuing the warrants. A court spokesperson has declined to comment, and neither judge has publicly explained their reasoning.
Police executed the search warrants Friday as part of an investigation into the leak of a police report on the death of the late Public Defender Jeff Adachi. The department is facing political pressure to find the source of the leak as the report included scandalous details about his death.
Breed made her comments despite an outcry from journalists and civil liberties attorneys who say the warrants may have violated federal and state laws that protect journalists from having warrants issued against them.
Her statement comes on the same day that an attorney for Carmody decided to move forward with legal action after the department missed a noon deadline for agreeing to return the items investigators seized from Carmody.
Tom Burke, an attorney for Carmody, said he would file a motion before each judge seeking to invalidate the warrants and have the seized items returned to Carmody without being reviewed by police. The items included reporting notebooks, video cameras and computers that Carmody used for newsgathering.