SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Two months after San Francisco officers used a crowbar to raid a journalist's home and seize his phone records, a Superior Court judge has ruled against police.
The raid was part of an investigation into who leaked a police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi to the ABC7 I-Team and other media outlets. Dan Noyes is back with this major development.
The judge also revealed Thursday that police investigators did not inform her that Bryan Carmody was a journalist and thereby protected under California's Shield Law when they asked her to approve the search warrant.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Rochelle East ruled Thursday that a search warrant for Carmody's phone records should never have been issued.
"Any information that the police department received as a result of that warrant is to be destroyed, they have to submit an affidavit to me that that was destroyed and it means they can't use any of it," said Tom Burke, Carmody's attorney.
In the hearing, a sergeant testified he didn't know Carmody was a journalist, even though he's had a police press pass for 16 years. And the judge confirmed investigators did not disclose that Carmody was a journalist and thus protected under California Shield Laws when they sought a warrant for his phone records.
"It's great news," said Burke. "It's great news because it means that he doesn't have to worry that that information can be used by law enforcement, they can't."
In May, police raided Carmody's home and office, seizing cameras, computers, cellphones and notes. They were looking for evidence into who leaked this police report on the death of Adachi in this North Beach apartment in February. Carmody obtained the report and photographs from a source, and provided it to the I-Team and other media outlets.
In response to complaints from First Amendment advocates, the San Francisco Police Chief William Scott admitted his investigators made mistakes and apologized to Carmody in May.
Scott: "We do, I owe an apology."
Noyes: "To whom?"
Scott: "To the people of San Francisco."
Noyes: "How about to Bryan Carmody?"
Scott: "To Bryan Carmody as well."
Scott: "We made some mistakes."
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