Blog Briefing Room

Police returning seized property to reporter probed over leak of confidential report

San Francisco police said Tuesday they will return property they seized from a reporter who refused to reveal his source to them following the leak of a confidential report.

The Associated Press reports the raids from earlier this month on freelance reporter Bryan Carmody's home were part of an investigation into confidential leaks regarding the death of public defender Jeff Adachi, who passed away in February.

Police investigators are reportedly returning cellphones, a computer of Carmody's and a police report they took from his office safe.

Carmody and his attorney, along with the support of numerous media organizations, are requesting San Francisco Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng to rule in their favor to unseal the warrant materials police used to raid Carmody's home. He also is asking the judge to revoke the search warrants.

The judge did not rule on the request Tuesday, instead setting deadlines for further filings, the AP reported.

An attorney for the police department confirmed at the hearing Tuesday that Carmody's possessions would be returned to him.

Carmody alleged earlier this month after the raid that police were using "intimidation" tactics to get information from him after he refused to divulge his source.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said during a news conference Tuesday that authorities believe a police department employee had contact with Carmody, saying the contact "went across the line. It went past just doing your job as a journalist."

The police chief said the employee, whose identity has not been determined, is the primary focus of the investigation, with a secondary focus on Carmody. The journalist's attorney declined to comment to the AP.