Wolf is stark evidence that we need a federal shield law to make sure this does not happen again," District Attorney Kamala Harris said April 3.
Harris's support for Wolf also highlights questions about the role San Francisco police officials played in this mess.
As part of the settlement that secured his release, Wolf answered no to two questions: did he see anybody throw anything at the squad car that was part of an alleged arson, and did he see whom SFPD officer Peter Shields was chasing before his skull got fractured?
"Answering questions about which you know nothing is not a violation of journalistic ethics," Wheaton told the Guardian. "But those same questions prove that law enforcement misused the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was set up to investigate terrorism but which they used to get around California's shield laws."
Public records show that the SFPD requested the help of the JTTF and the FBI to investigate the assault on Shields. That assault should be under the jurisdiction of the DA's Office. But by framing the case as an alleged arson to a car, for which the department received some funds courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement was able to federalize the investigation.
With Wolf's unedited video showing one police officer wildly pointing his gun at protesters in apparent violation of the SFPD's general orders, questions remain as to who will hold law enforcement accountable for what's on this long-disputed tape. *