In San Francisco, press freedom advocates are closely watching the case of journalist Bryan Carmody, who is headed to court today to argue against the city police’s widely denounced raid of his home and confiscation of personal devices earlier this month. The case relates to a leaked report involving the death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi in February. Police are seeking information on how Carmody obtained the sealed police report, which described unflattering details about Adachi prior to his death, including the use of illicit drugs while with a woman who was not his wife. Carmody then sold the report to television stations. Jeff Adachi had long fought against police abuses, including racism within the ranks. Some of his supporters have said they suspect police deliberately leaked the report to damage Adachi’s reputation.
When police descended on Carmody’s home, they reportedly used a sledgehammer on the front door and handcuffed him while they seized his computer, phone and notebooks. Carmody’s lawyers will ask the court to reverse police search warrants and return his personal goods immediately. Press freedom groups are also requesting the unsealing of the search warrant applications.