August 18, 2019

San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes for Raid of Journalist’s Home

Mr. Carmody declined to comment, but his lawyer, Ben Berkowitz, said in a statement that he hoped journalists around the country would not get used to this kind of behavior by the authorities.

“It is a troubling and alarming time for journalists in this country,” he said. “They have, unfortunately, grown all too accustomed to daily assaults on their profession. The principle at stake here is one that is fundamental to our democracy — the press must be free to investigate and report without fear of police intimidation.”

Ms. Tarquinio said there was no excuse for the raid and called it unconscionable.

“It is difficult to imagine this happening before the last two to three years,” Ms. Tarquinio said. “This is part of a climate that has been growing in this country which is a direct result of the anti-press rhetoric.”

Chief Scott said the Police Department would conduct an “independent, impartial investigation by a separate investigatory body” at the request of Mayor London Breed on the unauthorized release of the police report. The department will also review its protocols involving journalists.

“One would expect this level of disregard for an autocratic country without the First Amendment,” Ms. Tarquinio said. “In this country, journalists have the right to gather and report. A very dangerous precedent has been set.”

In a statement, the police union, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, called for the chief’s resignation, saying he was extensively involved in the investigation of Mr. Carmody and knew of his status as a freelance journalist.

“A true leader accepts responsibility,” the statement said. “Chief Scott oversaw and ordered the investigation and raid of a journalist’s home, and then when the optics did not go his way, he threw the men and women who carried out his orders under a double-decker bus.”

Chief Scott could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/san-francisco-police-chief.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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