By Matt Agorist
In the land of the free, journalists are now being raided by SWAT teams in an effort to find out their sources; and this is in spite of the law protecting journalists from this very act. Freelance journalist Bryan Carmody just fell victim to the police state in California as multiple San Francisco cops with sledgehammers and weapons began breaking down his door last week in an effort to find out his source for a leaked police report.
As the Society for Professional Journalists points out, California’s Shield Law protects journalists from being held in contempt for refusing to disclose their sources’ identities and other unpublished/unaired information obtained during the news gathering process (California Constitution, Article I, § 2(b); California Evidence Code § 1070(a)). California Penal Code section 1524(g) provides that “no warrant shall issue” for any item protected by the Shield Law.
Despite this protection under the law, police still raided Carmody’s home.
According to a report from NPR:
The raids on Carmody’s home and office are the latest in a series of events concerning the death of San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi in February, at age 59.
Within hours of Adachi’s collapsing in a San Franscisco apartment, details from a leaked police investigation into his death were already showing up in news reports, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
A number of the details in the police report were salacious, suggesting that perhaps one or more members of the police department were trying to tarnish the reputation of Adachi, who was known as a police watchdog and fierce advocate for criminal justice reform. In San Francisco, a public defender is an elected position.
After Carmody sold the report to several outlets, it showed up everywhere and this likely infuriated the police department.
“There were leaks happening all over the place,” Carmody recalled to the Los Angeles Times.
Due to the nature of the report painting police in a negative light and hurting their image, the raid could’ve been retaliatory in nature.