San Francisco police actually executed more search warrants than were previously known, both on the department’s own officers and on journalist Bryan Carmody’s phone records — searches which may have been used to justify the later raids on Carmody’s home and office.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Police Chief Bill Scott acknowledged the existence of the previously unknown warrants and admitted that at least one search was probably illegal. He apologized for the raid last week after days of defending it.
“We served warrants on officers and a number of warrants on Mr. Carmody, including a warrant on a very specific time for his phones, and one of the issues that I saw in this is in the initial warrants,” Scott told the Chronicle. “As this investigation transpired, there’s one that’s particularly troubling or concerning.”
Tony Montoya, the president of an influential local police union, called for Scott’s resignation.
As the warrants are under seal, it’s hard to deduce what the police’s rationale was for the searches and raid. But since California enjoys particularly strict protections for journalists and their sources, police must have had an extremely good reason to carry out those actions or they risk running afoul of the law.