The Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists condemns the recent search of the home and office of a San Francisco journalist by law enforcement agencies and the seizure of his reporting materials. These acts are outrageous, unlawful and set a dangerous precedent for journalists working in California and across the nation.
“At a time when press freedoms are being curtailed in Venezuela, Turkey and many other nations, to have a San Francisco law enforcement agency, working in tandem with the FBI, engage in such authoritarian behavior is appalling,” said SPJ/LA President Stephanie Bluestein. “SPJ/LA stands with the dozens of media and free speech organizations that have denounced these disturbing acts.”
Police officers went to the home of freelance videographer Bryan Carmody last month and asked him to reveal the identity of the person or persons who gave him a confidential report about the Feb. 22 death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Carmody declined to reveal the person’s identity, protecting the confidentiality of his source or sources. A month later, law enforcement officers returned to his home with guns drawn, handcuffing Carmody for hours and seizing computers, phones, hard drives and other materials.
SPJ/LA agrees with Carmody’s legal team that the raids were both “violent and breathtakingly overbroad” — and that his reporting materials are protected under California’s Shield Law. The chapter supports the ongoing effort to have the search warrants that led to these raids revoked, ensuring that Carmody’s reporting materials are returned to him promptly.