San Francisco’s police union has entered the fray over a controversial raid on a journalist’s home, calling on Police Chief Bill Scott to resign over the way his department handled the raid.
Union President Tony Montoya called on Scott to step down in a letter sent to its members this week, NBC News reported. Scott had been under fire for a May 10 raid on the home of freelance reporter Bryan Carmody, who had received a leaked report from a confidential source with details about the death of San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi. A medical examiner had found traces of cocaine and alcohol in Adachi’s system at the time of his death.
Carmody had sold a story about the report to local news outlets, prompting a backlash from Adachi’s family and a vow from the San Francisco Police Department to find the person responsible for leaking the medical information.
That led the San Francisco Police Department to conduct a raid on Carmody’s home, with officers using a sledgehammer to knock down the front gate and seizing thousands of dollars of electronics when Carmody refused to reveal his source, NBC News noted. Critics said that even if the raid had been legitimate, officers did not need to use such a high level of force.
The raid drew backlash from across the country, with local and state politicians joining together with First Amendment advocates to condemn the police department’s actions.
Bill Scott had apologized for how the raid was handled, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that a warrant application had failed to properly identify Carmody as a journalist and broke from department policy by failing to consult with the district attorney’s office before going through with the raid. Scott also conceded that the raid was probably illegal.
BREAKING: San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott concedes raid on journalist was wrong — ‘I’m sorry’ https://t.co/uXbyQprH1T— Evan Sernoffsky ???? (@EvanSernoffsky) May 24, 2019
One day after Scott’s apology, the union said that the police chief was involved in every step of wrongdoing and called for him to step down.
“Chief Scott not only followed every twist and turn of the investigation, but he knew every element of the investigation, directed the investigation and has clearly either come down with the most debilitating case of amnesia or is flat-out not telling the truth about his direct involvement and the horribly flawed direction he gave to find the leak of the police report,” the union said in a statement.
Bill Scott has not said if he intends to step down as chief of the San Francisco Police Department.