San Francisco

Mayor Weighs in on SFPD Raid on Journalist, Chief's Response

San Francisco’s mayor on Monday addressed the controversial police raid on a local journalist’s home and office.

Chief Bill Scott reversed course a bit on Friday, admitting his officers may have violated the state’s shield law that protects journalists and their sources.

Since then, the police commission and officers' union have weighed in as well.

Scott offered an apology, and now his job appears to be on the line. The head of the police union is already calling for Scott’s resignation, saying he’s abandoning his officers amid growing criticism.

Scott said the city’s Department of Police Accountability will investigate.

"There were issues in this investigation, and those issues have to be addressed, and the independent investigation will bare that out," Scott said.

The investigation will be into what led to the police search warrant raid on the home and office of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody. They were looking for evidence of who leaked the police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

California law protects journalists from search warrants aimed at revealing their sources. And the outcry over the violation of that law has pushed Mayor London Breed to call for an investigation.

Breed said the next step is "to look at an outside agency to do this investigation to restore the public trust because of the way this investigation has been handled thus far."

Breed, however, is backing away from questions about whether she still trusts him to lead the department.

The head of the police union has called for Scott to resign.

"This investigation was initiated at the top, meaning the chief’s office," SFPOA President Tony Montoya said. "The chief was very well briefed extensively on every step of the investigation, including giving direction to the sergeants themselves."

Initially, Scott said the raid on the journalist's home was legal, but on Friday, he apologized and said mistakes were made. On Monday, Breed was asked if she still had faith in him.

"I think at this point my goal is to focus on restoring the public trust by providing an outside entity for dealing with this particular issue," she said.

NBC Bay Area has a long-time relationship with Carmody. In this case, we bought video from him that included the police report on Adachi's death.

Asked if he knew about the raid before it took place and if the two judges that signed the warrant were aware that Carmody was a journalist, Scott said, "That will all come out in an independent investigation."

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