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San Francisco police union says chief must quit, calling his apology 'pathetic'

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 5/26/2019 By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times
San Francisco police chief William Scott looks on during a press conference at San Francisco police headquarters on April 6, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS San Francisco police chief William Scott looks on during a press conference at San Francisco police headquarters on April 6, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association is calling on Police Chief Bill Scott to step down after he apologized for his officers’ raid of a journalist’s home.

“It is time for Chief Scott to go. There’s no other way around it,” union leaders wrote in a statement released Saturday, one day after Scott issued the public apology.

The statement described the chief’s public concession as a “pathetic, deceitful and shameful display of self-preservation, finger pointing and political kowtowing.”

Scott’s apology, issued Friday, represented an abrupt reversal from just a few days ago, when he voiced suspicions that journalist Bryan Carmody committed a crime by obtaining a leaked report detailing the circumstances surrounding San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s death and selling it to local news outlets.

Police officers with a sledgehammer arrived at Carmody’s home on the morning of May 10. They handcuffed the reporter before seizing his notebooks, hard drives and phones in the hopes they might reveal his secret source.

The search took about six hours.

Since news of the search broke, journalists and First Amendment advocates have voiced their outrage that a journalist could be searched in such a manner.

The California Constitution includes what’s called the Shield Law, which protects journalists from being held in contempt for refusing to identify their sources. It also bars police from executing search warrants for materials covered by the law.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association said Scott oversaw and ordered the investigation and raid of Carmody’s home, and that he knew of Carmody’s status as a member of the media.

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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