SAN FRANCISCO – Media law experts say a San Francisco journalist whose home was raided did not commit a crime because it's not illegal to disclose a public record.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told reporters this week that freelancer Bryan Carmody conspired to steal a confidential police record into the death of the city's former public defender.
But San Francisco attorney Duffy Carolan says the public has constitutional rights to public records such as police reports. She says criminalizing the release, receipt and publication of a public record would have a chilling effect.
A battle between the press and police is playing out in politically liberal San Francisco after police raided Carmody's home and office earlier this month.
They seized cameras, cellphones and computers in search of a police department employee who leaked the information to Carmody.