A San Francisco– based freelance reporter will be getting back home seized this month by sledgehammer-wielding police who raided his home and workplace to investigate the source of a dripped cops report.
Police agreed with a San Francisco County Superior Court judge Tuesday to return Bryan Carmody’s property, however the case will quickly return to court as his attorney and media companies combat to unseal the warrants utilized for the May 10 raids.
Authorities seized numerous computers, electronic cameras and computer systems. Authorities have protected the raids, stating they were “performed as part of a criminal investigation into the illegal release of” an initial report into the death of previous public defender Jeff Adachi.
The raids were licensed through search warrants signed by two judges.
In this May 10 image from video offered by Bryan Carmody, San Francisco cops equipped with sledgehammers carry out a search warrant at his home. (Bryan Carmody/@bryanccarmody through AP).
Carmody’s arrest and the seizure of his home alarmed journalism supporters, who criticized the actions of authorities as violative of California’s shield law, which safeguards reporters from search warrants.
Carmody stated in court files that he is an experienced journalist who covers breaking news and sells video to news outlets.
While covering Adachi’s Feb. 22 death, a source offered him a preliminary cops report, which he offered together with news footage and interviews to three news stations. Some city leaders accused cops of dripping the report to smear Adachi, who was an outspoken critic of the department.
An autopsy concluded that he passed away from a mix of drug and alcohol.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi back in2016 (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File).
Mayor London Breed initially protected the authorities actions, but said she “was not fine with police raids on press reporters” in a Sunday tweet.
District Lawyer George Gascon informed The Associated Press he might not envision a scenario where warrants targeting a journalist would be suitable. His office has actually not seen the warrants.
Carmody said he will need to replace a big portion of the equipment taken by the police for security reasons. As of Tuesday evening, a GoFundMe produced to help with devices costs raised almost $15,000
Jim Wheaton, creator of the general public interest law practice the First Amendment Task, said Carmody was a simple target for police, given his freelance status.
” They pursued him because he’s all by himself,” Wheaton said, ” and the truth that he offers the products that he packages. He creates a journalism report consisting of files and sells it. That’s what journalism is.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.