San Francisco Police Chief William Scott answers questions during a press conference, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in San Francisco. The police agreed Tuesday to return property seized from a San Francisco journalist in a raid, but the decision did little to relieve tensions in the case, that has alarmed journalism lawyers and the pressure on the city leaders. The authorities have said: it Can be 10 raids freelancer Bryan Carmody’s home and office were part of an investigation into what the police called the illegal leak of the report on the death of the former prosecutor Jeff Adachi, who died unexpectedly in February. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
SAN FRANCISCO Media law experts say that a San Francisco journalist whose house was raided not committing a crime, because it is not illegal to disclose a public record.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told reporters this week that the freelancer Bryan Carmody conspired to steal confidential police records in the death of the city’s former public defender.
But San Francisco attorney Duffy Carolan says the public has the constitutional rights in the public registers, such as a process-verbal. She says that the criminalisation of the release, the reception and the publication of a public record would have a chilling effect.
A battle between the press and the police is out to play in the politically liberal San Francisco after the police raided Carmody’s home and office earlier this month.
They seized cameras, mobile phones and computers in the search of a police department employee who leaked information to Carmody.