San Francisco mayor orders independent investigation into raid on journalist's home

ByDan Noyes and Khaled Sayed KGO logo
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Mayor orders independent investigation into SFPD raid on journalist's home
Mayor London Breed says SFPD Chief Bill Scott has "acknowledged the department's mistakes and apologized" for a controversial raid on a journalist's home, adding that it was "unacceptable and we have to do better."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed says SFPD Chief Bill Scott has "acknowledged the department's mistakes and apologized" for a controversial raid on a journalist's home, adding that it was "unacceptable and we have to do better."

Chief Scott announced Friday that an independent, impartial investigation is being launched into the controversial raid on journalist Bryan Carmody's home.

RELATED: I-Team questions police chief about raid on journalist's home, Jeff Adachi investigation

Chief Scott told the San Francisco Chronicle he is sorry for a raid on Carmody's home in the search for the source of a leaked a police report on the death of public defender Jeff Adachi.

EXCLUSIVE: Key witness in death investigation of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi speaks to I-Team

When our I-Team reporter Dan Noyes questioned Scott about the raid earlier this week, Scott went so far as to say the department was looking into whether Carmody conspired to steal the report.

Police searched Carmody's home and office two weeks ago as part of their investigation.

RELATED: ABC7 obtains San Francisco police report on death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi

The search sparked outrage and made national headlines -- raising questions over whether the search broke state laws protecting journalists' rights.

Chief Scott emailed ABC7 a statement that reads, in part, "I am specifically concerned by a lack of due diligence by department investigators in seeking search warrants and appropriately addressing Mr. Carmody's status as a member of the news media."

It continues, "This has raised important questions about our handling of this case and whether the California shield law was violated."

Chief Scott also says an independent investigation will be conducted.

"We understand that faith in SFPD has been shaken and we will work hard to restore it," he said.

Read Mayor London Breed's full statement:

I'm glad that the Chief has acknowledged the Department's mistakes and apologized. But I remain deeply disappointed by the actions taken in this case up to today. This is unacceptable and we have to do better.

I ordered an independent investigation by an outside agency to ensure the integrity of the ongoing probe into the San Francisco Police Department, to get to the bottom of who leaked this information.

The actions being taken today are the right thing for the Department and for the City. We have to restore the trust among the Department, the public, and the media. An independent and free press is essential in our city and our society.

We must honor both the letter and the spirit of California's Shield Law, and the Department needs to work harder to protect and preserve those standards, while also continuing to fulfill its duty to keep the public safe and prevent crimes.

Carmody's attorney, Ben Berkowitz, released the following statement:

"I am pleased to see Chief Scott apologized to Mayor Breed and the citizens of San Francisco. He needs to apologize to Bryan Carmody. I am also encouraged to see that the mayor called for an independent investigation by an outside agency into the San Francisco Police Department's conduct in this matter. The department needs real reform to ensure the SFPD respects the First Amendment and independence of free speech."

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