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Wed May 22, 2019, 06:38 PM

Police might have broken the law by raiding a reporter's home. Here's how they justify it.

Source: Washington Post

Police might have broken the law by raiding a reporter’s home. Here’s how they justify it.

By Alex Horton and Eli Rosenberg May 22 at 2:49 PM

Amid national outcry, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott is on his heels after raiding a reporter’s home for refusing to disclose the name of a source. On Tuesday, Scott held a news conference to say he suspects freelance reporter Bryan Carmody was involved in a criminal conspiracy to obtain documents that were leaked to him by someone inside the police department.

“Our actions reflect that we believe Mr. Carmody was a suspect in a criminal conspiracy to steal this confidential report,” Scott said at a news conference, referring to a police report on the death of prominent public defender Jeff Adachi.

But Scott struggled with squaring the accusation with protections of the First Amendment and state laws, which shield reporters who gather leaked government documents for news operations — a routine activity in the profession. Scott said only Carmody received and distributed the report.

To obtain the report, Scott said, the department believes Carmody was in contact with a police official. But he declined questions about how those actions eclipsed the typical role of a freelance reporter who sells videos, additional reporting and documents to local outlets, such as Carmody did in this case.

Carmody “went past doing [his] job as a journalist,” Scott said. Police are investigating whether Carmody paid a source for the document. Carmody has told The Washington Post he does not pay sources.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/22/police-equate-accepting-leaked-documents-with-criminal-conspiracy-justify-raid-reporter/

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