Rev. Amos Brown, head of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, issued a statement defending Police Chief Bill Scott. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

NAACP throws support behind police chief after call for his resignation

Chief came under fire after raid on journalist’s home

The San Francisco chapter of the NAACP has released a statement of support for police Chief William Scott in the wake of his apology for the May 10 police raid of a freelance journalist’s home and office.

“The civil rights and African American community stands solidly behind Chief Bill Scott,” the Rev. Amos Brown, president of the NAACP chapter said in the statement issued Monday. “He has recognized and apologized for his department’s raid of a journalist’s home office in an effort to unmask a confidential source who leaked a police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi to the news media.”

Brown wrote that “the chief’s apology and his admission that the searches were probably illegal as well as his call for an independent investigation demonstrates he is the right leader for SFPD, able to admit mistakes, retain his integrity, and enjoy the respect of the many peoples that make up our city.

The NAACP statement is the second in two days defending Scott for apologizing after the police union on Friday called for his resignation.

“We are deeply disappointed, but not surprised, by the flagrant political attack by the San Francisco Police Officers Association against Chief Scott,” Brown said. “Their unwarranted remarks belie their resistance to any reform of the department and their ranks. The only reason for their attack is to stop the police reforms that Chief Scott is leading in our city. The community demands reform and it will not stand for the SFPOA’s attacks against a man who is big enough to admit a mistake.”

The president and vice president of the city’s Police Commission issued a statement supporting Scott on Sunday.

The raid of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody was done as part of an investigation by San Francisco police into who leaked a report with details of the Feb. 22 death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, including that Adachi died while with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Carmody obtained a copy of the report and sold it to three Bay Area television stations.

News and First Amendment organizations have condemned the raid as a violation of legal protections for journalists.

Scott initially defended his deparment’s actions as legal and in compliance with the Shield Law, which prohibits law enforcement from forcing journalists to reveal their sources.

But on Friday he reversed his stance, officially apologizing for the raid and setting off more criticism that in turn has others rising to Scott’s defense.

The San Francisco Police Officers’ Association on Saturday called for Scott to resign, calling the apology a “pathetic, deceitful and shameful display of self-preservation.”

“We urge the city’s elected leadership to reject the comments by the SFPOA and be mindful that their attack on Chief Scott is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the backwards thinking of some police officers who reject civil and human right reforms in our police ranks,” Brown said in the NAACP statement.


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