San Francisco, CA – The police union has asked for San Francisco Police Chief William Scott’s resignation after he blamed rank-and-file officers for a highly controversial raid on a journalist’s house.
The San Francisco Police Officers Union said that it was the chief himself who ordered the investigation.
The raid was executed on May 10, after freelance journalist Bryan Carmody sold a story to three television stations that included information from the internal death report about Public Defender Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Police officers armed with a sledgehammer bashed through security gates and searched Carmody’s home in an effort to figure out who had leaked the death report to the journalist.
Investigators seized 68 items from the house, including cameras, computers cell phones, and notes, KGO reported.
Faced with harsh criticism for potential constitutional violations, Chief Scott pointed the finger at his department and issued an apology to Carmody, the mayor, and the city.
The chief said his department should have done a better job and said that he was turning the investigation of the leak over to the independent third-party agency to investigate, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
But the San Francisco Police Officers Association said the investigation into Carmody originated at the chief’s office, and Chief Scott should bear responsibility for it.
“What we know is that Chief Scott ordered that investigation,” the union said in a statement, according to KGO. “Chief Scott not only followed every twist and turn of the investigation but he knew every element of the investigation, directed the investigation and has clearly either come down with the most debilitating case of amnesia or is flat out not telling the truth about his direct involvement and the horribly flawed direction he gave to find the leak of the police report.”
The union’s statement called out the police chief for failing to accept responsibility for his own actions.
“A true leader accepts responsibility. Chief Scott oversaw and ordered the investigation and raid of a journalist's home, and then when the optics did not go his way, he threw the men and women who carried out his orders under a double-decker bus. His apology to the media was clearly meant for him to save face as opposed to accept responsibility for his own actions. Shameful,” the statement continued.
The union also highlighted the chief flipping his stance to cave to public pressure.
“Remember, Chief Scott was for the search warrant of the journalist's home before he was against it,” the statement read. “He defended the search warrant in a trial balloon press release just days ago and when that balloon exploded he flip-flopped to being opposed to the search warrant. Not quite a profile in courage.”
The union has said that the only acceptable resolution to this matter is Chief Scott’s resignation or termination, KGO reported.
“Chief Scott's request for an outside agency to investigate the investigation is mind-boggling. It is a diversion to take our eyes away from his culpability,” the union stated. “We believe there should be an investigation of Chief Scott and that he should be afforded the same courtesy his rank and file are provided. He should be immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. During that time, he should muster up the personal fortitude to do the right thing and resign.”
San Francisco Police Spokesman Officer Robert Rueca defended the chief’s apology for the raid and call for an independent investigation.
Officer Rueca told the San Francisco Chronicle that Chief Scott had “made it abundantly clear that transparency and accountability are paramount in this criminal investigation. That is why SFPD is seeking an independent, impartial third-party to take over the original criminal case.”