San Francisco police contend journalist broke the law in obtaining police report

The San Francisco Police Chief William Scott defended a police raid of a journalist’s home by contending that free-lance journalist Bryan Carmody was the subject of a criminal investigation for possibly paying a city employee for a police report on the sudden death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi.  (San Jose Mercury News, May 21, 2019. by Thomas Peele)

The police regarded the report as part of an ongoing investigation so not a public document, but FAC’s David Snyder said Carmody’s obtaining the report by paying a source may or may not be enough to bring a criminal charge depending on the circumstances. It is not illegal for a reporter to write about news in stolen documents or other illegally obtained information from a third party. Snyder said all the facts that he has seen support the contention that Carmody was protected under the First Amendment. (Fox 54 News, May 23, 2019, by Janie Harof of The Associated Press)

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