Thursday, September 23, 2021

San Francisco Police Union Calls on Chief to Quit Over Handling of Freelance Journalist

Chief Bill Scott
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 15: San Francisco police chief Bill Scott speaks during a news conference at the San Francisco Police Academy on May 15, 2018 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell was joined by San Francisco police chief Bill Scott to announce a two-year, $34.2 million budget proposal that would be used to purchase up to 130 new police cars, tasers and hire 250 new police officers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

*San Francisco’s police union have called on the city’s police chief to resign over his handling of a raid on a local reporter’s home earlier this month.

Journalist Bryan Carmody said in an interview that police knocked down the gate of his home with a sledgehammer on May 10, handcuffed him for hours and seized thousands of dollars in electronics after he refused to identify a confidential source who provided a police report that revealed details about the death of the city’s longtime public defender, Jeff Adachi, in February, per NBC News.

According to the report, the city’s medical examiner determined that trace amounts of cocaine and alcohol found in Adachi’s system contributed to the heart attack that killed him.

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While Chief Bill Scott has apologized for the raid, union president Tony Montoya issued a letter to members calling for him to step down.

“It is time for Chief Scott to go. There’s no other way around it,” union leaders wrote in a statement released Saturday, one day after Scott issued the public apology.

The statement described the chief’s public comments as a “pathetic, deceitful and shameful display of self-preservation, finger pointing, and political kowtowing.”

According to NBC Bay Area, Scott said he was concerned about how department investigators dealt with Carmody’s status a journalist: “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,” he said. “This has raised important questions about our handling of this case and whether the California shield law was violated.”

Adding, “We have serious concerns that we may have violated the shield law, absolutely. “We have to dig into everything that has to be investigated as well.”

The California Shield Law protects journalists from being held in contempt for refusing to identify their sources. It also prohibits police from executing search warrants for materials covered by the law.

The San Francisco Police Officers Assn. said Scott was fully aware of Carmody’s status as a member of the press.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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