San Francisco's police union issued an official statement Saturday calling the city's police chief Bill Scott to resign over the highly criticized raid on a local freelance journalist's home earlier in May.
Police union president Tony Montoya called on Chief William Scott to step down less than 24 hours after Chief Scott apologized publicly for the event. Scott blamed department investigators for "lack of due diligence," highlighting that documents seeking court approval of the raid did not adequately identify Carmody as a journalist.
In response, Montoya fired back saying that Scott was aware of the Carmody's profession and deceived the sergeant who wrote the search warrant.
The spokesperson of the San Francisco police department did not comment on the Montoya' s demand for resignation but confirmed that handling of the raid would be investigated in details by the Department of Police Accountability.
On May 10, officers from the San Francisco Police Department team knocked down the gate of the home of the freelance journalist Bryan Carmody with a sledgehammer. They kept him handcuffed for six hours and seized all his electronic devices, hard drives, and all his digital archive from the last 25 years, the reporter confirmed.
The San Francisco journalist explained that he refused to identify a confidential source who leaked him a confidential police report into the unexpected death of the city's former public defender Jeff Adachi in February.
Jeff Adachi, the elected Public Defender of San Francisco and a former candidate for Mayor, was found unresponsive in his apartment on February 22. The leaked police report on his death included photographs and the medical examiner conclusion of amounts of cocaine and alcohol found in his system.
Carmody sold the story about the report to several local news outlets. After his family condemned the press coverage, police officials promised to hold the leaker accountable.
Carmody's lawyer, Ben Berkowitz said in a statement that there needs to be real reform to make sure that the San Francisco Police Department works in line with the First Amendment and the independence of the free press.
London Breed, San Francisco's Mayor also called for an independent investigation into the way the police acted and dealt with the leak.
The local representatives of the Society of Professional Journalist also criticized the police saying that raid showed an alarming disregard for the right to gather information. The group also urged the police to explain why it did not follow California's shield laws, protecting journalists who refuse to disclose their sources.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that Chief Scott should resign his position?