The chief of the San Francisco Police Department, Bill Scott, issued an apology Friday for a recent raid on the home of a freelance journalist connected with the unauthorized leak of a police report about the death of the city's former public defender.
The sudden death of 59-year-old Jeff Adachi in February, the subsequent leak of a police report, and a May 10 police raid executed with a sledgehammer has roiled local sensibilities in a city that takes pride in its reputation as a progressive haven for free expression and respect for the First Amendment.
Scott told The San Francisco Chronicle that the searches of the home and office of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody were probably illegal, saying, "I'm sorry it happened."
In a statement issued late Friday, Scott said he is asking outside agencies for an independent criminal investigation of his department to determine the source of a leak about the death of Jeff Adachi. The former public defender had been critical of the police. Scott said he is concerned by the lack of due diligence by his department investigators in obtaining search warrants and the possible violation of California's law that shields reporters from divulging their sources.
Scott told the Chronicle that applications for warrants to search Carmody's home did not adequately identify him as a journalist. Scott also said that the officers who executed the warrants violated department policy by not first consulting with the district attorney's office.