SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — SFPD Chief William Scott on Friday apologized for a raid on a freelance journalist’s home which sparked national criticism.

The raid at the home and office of stringer journalist Bryan Carmody on May 10 was prompted by a leaked police report which detailed the death of late San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi.

The information was reportedly sold to local news outlets hours after Adachi died on Feb. 22 from a heart attack. Scott said the search warrant came after city leaders demanded that the leak be investigated during a Board of Supervisors’ hearing last month.

Chief Scott first made his apology during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle and, later, in an interview with KPIX 5’s Betty Yu.

“I’m sorry that this happened. I’m sorry to the people of San Francisco. I’m sorry to the mayor,” he said in the interview. “We have to fix it. We know there were some concerns in that investigation and we know we have to fix it.”

The chief also released a statement that said he had conducted a thorough review of the Adachi report criminal investigation over the past two days, exploring leak of the Jeff Adachi police report and the subsequent raid.

Chief Scott announced that the department will be setting up an independent and impartial investigation into the incident by an outside agency at the request of Mayor London Breed.

“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,” Scott said in the release. “This has raised important questions about our handling of this case and whether the California shield law was violated.”

Besides the investigation by an external agency, the Department of Police Accountability will investigate the execution of the search warrant on Carmody’s home and continue their own investigation into the unauthorized release of the police report.

“Journalists and everyone in our City deserve a police department that will maintain the constitutional rights of all,” said Scott in the release.

Mayor London Breed was unavailable for comment but released a statement.

“I’m glad that the Chief has acknowledged the Department’s mistakes and apologized. But I remain deeply disappointed by the actions taken in this case up to today. This is unacceptable and we have to do better,” the statement read in part. “The actions being taken today are the right thing for the Department and for the City. We have to restore the trust among the Department, the public, and the media. An independent and free press is essential in our city and our society.”

A statement from Thomas Burke, the attorney for Bryan Carmody, said that it was “encouraging that Chief Scott acknowledged the illegality of the searches.”

Burke said his office was sent a copy of Chief Scott’s statement, but they have not received any other communication from police.

Earlier this week, an attorney for the police department said that Carmody would be getting back his property that was taken in the raid.

Comments (52)
  1. Carl Freeman Jr says:

    More poop for The City with all the poop

  2. Eric Anderson says:

    The video showed a lieutenant and a sergeant. A manager and a supervisor. In a city where the district attorney rejects most of your arrests and those that go to trial are doomed because juries there won’t convict unless they absolute have to. Why did you guys go there? Who is the victim? Do you have someone to support you or are you going to claim what your actions were done for society? Not in that city…maybe Orange County. Last time I checked a police officer gets paid every two weeks whether they arrest a person or not. Time for you guys to modify you workplace. Be there when they call, otherwise disappear, stay out of jail and retire.

    1. Tom Brown says:

      remember London Breed a cop killed Mayor Mosconi and Harvey Milk. dont choo ever forget it.

    2. Let me guess—you don’t live in CA & you’ve never even been here. Or, if you came here, then you only hit the big name tourist traps like the rest of the star-struck visitors here who believe everything they see on TV is reality. No, juries in our area don’t just let criminals go. You’re just another troll/hater who can’t take responsibility for your own life & blame a state you know nothing about for all the problems in the world. I’m not saying what the cops did was right, but don’t blame the citizens of CA for the fact that they’re bad. From what I can see, most cops are just another criminal gang these days. And it will take a lot more than one investigation into violations of law “enforcement” to win back the people’s trust.

  3. Jason Ledd says:

    This raid was illegal by government. First Amendment law says government can make no laws for freedom of press. All government agents, I.e. public servants involved must be imprisoned. Otherwise US laws and government are illegit. Assemble the citizens and make citizens arrests.

  4. Vox Veritas says:

    James Rosen is still waiting for Obama’s apology.

  5. John Oakman says:

    These 4 star General police chiefs are a JOKE.

  6. The only mistake is that they didn’t shoot him/

  7. Rocco Henderson says:

    Always watch your step in Frisco.

  8. Hey! At least there weren’t any plastic straws…..

  9. beefrank says:

    Typical liberal Board of Supervisors acting like Soviet Politburo sic’ing police on their enemies.

  10. A Louie Arnold says:

    Communists “Doing it!” first; having their way… first; then offer up a “We are sorry!” because it didn’t pan out as a Final Fascist action. Of course they wanted to shoot the 1st Amendment ‘Journalist’ that wasn’t an APPROVED Journalist.

  11. Troy Dynes says:

    SFPD Chief William Scott was told to make the arrest a political statement.

  12. eujenek says:

    The real police state, exposed.