San Francisco’s police chief is apologizing for raiding a freelance journalist’s home and office to find out who leaked a police report into the unexpected death of the city’s former public defender.
Chief William Scott told the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday the searches were probably illegal and said “I’m sorry that this happened.”
California’s shield law protects journalists from search warrants and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that journalists are free to report on newsworthy information contained in stolen documents.
Because the warrants are under seal, it’s not known what information police provided to support the search or to what extent they disclosed that Bryan Carmody is a journalist.
Scott said the warrants didn’t adequately identify Carmody as a journalist.