Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SF Police Open Investigation into Chronicle's Public Restroom Pix

In response to my complaint last week to Chief of Police Greg Suhr, requesting a criminal investigation into whether SF Chronicle staff photographer Lea Suzuki violated state penal code 647(j)(1) prohibiting the taking of photos in public restrooms, this note arrived today. It came from Sgt. Anthony Damato of the Special Investigations Division down at the Hall of Justice:

I am the Inspector that has been assigned to this case. Please note I will be handling the criminal aspect of the case, and not any violation of library rules. I understand your concerns, and will research whether a law was violated. If you have any information that would be helpful please feel free to contact me. 

 (Photo credit: Lea Suzuki, SF Chronicle.)

You may recall that on March 9, the Chronicle's Heather Knight penned an article about efforts to have stronger enforcement of and enhanced penalties against patrons of the main library at Civic Center. Accompanying her article were two photos of homeless women changing their clothes in the public restroom, along with a female janitor in one of the images.

I'm not sure if was ironic or hypocritical, or both, for the paper to violate two library code of conduct rules themselves and potentially break the law to call for stronger rules and penalties for others who violate the code or law.

Let's see how the SFPD investigation plays out.

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