Police, FBI, Raid San Francisco-Based Journalist’s Home For Protecting Source
San Francisco police and FBI agents used a sledge hammer to break into the home of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody on Friday. They were searching for documents that would give them clues as to who the internal, confidential source is who provided Carmody information regarding the mysterious death of a public defender.
My home and business were raided by the SFPD and the FBI today. This is part of a campaign to make me divulge a confidential source. I will not. https://t.co/qa7uNjy4wy
— Bryan C. Carmody (@bryanccarmody) May 11, 2019
Police raided the home and office of a freelance journalist Friday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into a leaked confidential police report containing salacious details about the death of late Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
Freelance journalist Bryan Carmody told the San Francisco Examiner that his home and office were raided by police and FBI agents because he had obtained a copy of the police report, and sold information from that report to the press following Adachi’s death on February 22.
The leak drew wide condemnation and prompted members of the Board of Supervisors to call for the police department to investigate and hold accountable the source of it within the department.
Two weeks prior, Carmody said that he was interviewed by police officers about where he obtained his information, but refused to disclose his source. Today, Carmody said that police and FBI agents executed a search warrant on his Richmond District home and Western Addition office.
They confiscated his cell phones, computers and a copy of the police report from within his office safe.
“They have completely shut down my business,” said Carmody, who has operated as an independent stringer for Bay Area and national television stations, including Fox News, CNBC and CBS Evening news.
Carmody accused police of “intimidation” to “make me break my [journalistic] ethics.”
“I’m refusing to give up my source,” he said.
A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson defended their action in a statement Friday, saying that the warrant was granted by a judge and the raid was “part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the leak of the Adachi police report.”
“Today’s actions are one step in the process of investigating a potential case of obstruction of justice along with the illegal distribution of a confidential police report,” the statement read.
Carmody said that police and FBI agents attempted to enter his home at 8:30 a.m. using “a sledgehammer.”
“They were in the process of breaking my gate down at which time I woke up and let them in,” said Carmody, adding that the authorities entered his home with guns drawn and searched “my entire house from attic to garage.”
Carmody said that he was detained in handcuffs for more than seven hours and asked to be released several times, but that authorities refused his request. He said he remained in handcuffs as police brought him along with them to his Western Addition office, where they found the police report in a safe.
Like most states, California has what is known a “Shield Law” that protects members of the media and their sources, per the First Amendment Coalition:
1070. (a) A publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected with or employed upon a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service, or any person who has been so connected or employed, cannot be adjudged in contempt by a judicial, legislative, administrative body, or any other body having the power to issue subpoenas, for refusing to disclose, in any proceeding as defined in Section 901, the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for publication in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.
(b) Nor can a radio or television news reporter or other person connected with or employed by a radio or television station, or any person who has been so connected or employed, be so adjudged in contempt for refusing to disclose the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for news or news commentary purposes on radio or television, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.
(c) As used in this section, “unpublished information” includes information not disseminated to the public by the person from whom disclosure is sought, whether or not related information has been disseminated and includes, but is not limited to, all notes, outtakes, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort not itself disseminated to the public through a medium of communication, whether or not published information based upon or related to such material has been disseminated.
Friends of Carmody have started a Go Fund Me page to help replace the equipment that was seized, so that he can continue his business.
This comes at a time when journalists across the world are being persecuted. And though the hysteria about “Trump attacking free press” is constantly peddled by left wing media sources, it’s actually journalists in the left wing abodes who fall prey to vengeful authority figures.