Berkeley police chief sends sergeant to home of journalist to correct online story

What the heck was this guy thinking? Journalists make mistakes all the time. Sometimes they are corrected and sometimes they are not. But a police chief sending another cop to someone’s home and knock on their door to demand a correction after midnight?

Strange stuff does happen in Berkeley. During a meeting with the community concerning a terrible beating death in the city, Police Chief Michael Meehan apologized for not getting information to the public quicker after the crime. Residents could not get much information about the mid-February beating death of Peter Cukor outside of his home, but a 23-year old man was charged with murder close to the scene.

As it turns out, Cukor had called the Berkeley police non-emergency line and asked for help. That call was given a lower priority since Berkeley PD needed to stage for – get this – a “potentially volatile” Occupy Oakland protest march that was scheduled that evening.

Following the death, police said they did not respond to a first call for help from Cukor that came in on the non-emergency line because they were only responding to calls classified as priority one emergencies.

Cukor’s first call for help was labeled a priority two call and put in a queue because the department was changing patrol configurations to keep an eye on an Occupy Oakland march that was set to come into the city that night, Meehan said. Police responded immediately to a second 911 call 14 minutes later at 9:01 p.m. by Cukor’s wife who said her husband was being beaten…

So after the meeting, our intrepid reporter files his online story and it is published, stating Meehan apologized for the slow response to the incident, but apparently that’s not what the chief said. He apologized for the slow response to the request for information about the incident. From there

Oakley’s story posted online at 11:20 p.m. Thursday reported that Meehan apologized to the community for the slow response. Meehan though, said he apologized only for not informing the public right away. Meehan called and emailed Oakley about the story, but Oakley was asleep.

So, Meehan sends a fellow officer to knock on Oakley’s door after midnight to demand a change. To her credit, Oakley said the sergeant was very embarrassed about the whole thing, but Oakley made the changes to the article.

This is a good example of someone with power making a really bad judgement. What do you think should happen to Chief Meehan?

I got a kick out of the following video news report about the incident. Guess why? The reporter on the scene got the information wrong. I know, totally ironic. He refers to the slow response to a 911 call which was not the case at all. The first call was to the non-emergency line asking for help, and the second 911 call was responded to immediately.

Should he be expecting a phone call from the Berkeley PD requesting a correction?

Short ad before the video clip…

14 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Ok we shouldn’t kid here, but this is another teachable moment. “Father” Obama should take time out from his busy days of campaigning and explain to us how to make a 911 call. 911 is for emergencies, surely this was an emergency for Peter Cuker. I admit, I will always give a pass to police who have to make quick judgement calls. Police Chief Meehan made a mistake by sending an officer to Oakley’s home. He admitted it and apologized. Police intimidation is wrong, and I have observed it in my little town. However, I don’t believe that was the case here. Police Chief Meehan was afraid for his job. I wish politicians were afraid for their jobs, they make mistakes all the time. In Berkeley, I would bet that any Liberal (are there any other kind there) politician would never lose his job. Sadly a caring police chief might.

    • ricbee
      ricbee says:

      “Police intimidation is wrong, and I have observed it in my little town.”? And you are still making lame excuses for gestapo tactics? Wake up & smell the tear gas,you a.. .

      • Lynn
        Lynn says:

        Ric, In my little town, the First Selectman was the cause of the police intimidation, he is gone now and the intimidation by the police has stopped. Ergo, it is the Politician that is at fault. The policeman was doing his job by “protecting” a politician with a vivid imagination that he would be harmed (to say it kindly). Now as to another? recent event that happened in “my little town” , again, that was an Asst. Director of a State Dept. who threatened by phone. Again a politician, fortunately he was forced to resign. However, in CT you never know where he can pop up in Gov. Malloy’s administration.
        WARNING WILL ROBINSON: NO One should ever doubt the courage of our group of women. We have put our reputations on the line every day. We don’t whine about our rights being violated, we are in your face to everyone who denies us of our rights.? So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  2. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    Apologizing for Police intimidation in no way lessens it. And after midnite certainly was a major threat.

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      I’m in a forgiving kind of mood, today. Tomorrow it could change. I think it’s cause I didn’t have any red meat for dinner.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    In the long run, isn’t it the fault of OWS and their pointless demonstration that sapped the available police?

  4. JBS
    JBS says:

    Shouldn’t Cukor?s wife sue the Berkeley police department and the Occupy gang for wasting precious police resources instead of responding to real threats to life?

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      JBS, I can’t stop myself. I am against anyone suing towns/cities,
      because the tax payer ends up paying in the end. We have precious little enough money left after all the taxes we pay. I am so sorry about Cukor’s wife. In my first little town, where we raised our children, people got together and made a fund for a family like this. Americans especially small town Americans are extraordinarily generous. The firemen had dinners to raise money, the high school had breakfasts, the local banks gave “seed” money, ALL the Churches/Synagogues? had fundraisers, Boy, Girl, Cub Scouts, all civic organizations. I am so proud of the many causes we raised money for:: Young children with cancer, families of Dad’s and Mom’s who died in accidents or by disease or once murdered. Our town was a living breathing Frank Capra movie. Taxes are assessed at a certain amount without a thought to the condition of the family’s bank accounts. Giving freely for a cause, means you can spend your energy to organize, call people, advertise and work at the event without spending a dime. Of course, if you can,? you can donate your BIG Bucks but it is by your own FREE will.. I know this sounds silly and romantic, but I saw it. Sadly…

      • Lynn
        Lynn says:

        OK, I’m a blonde and can change my mind. I just listened to Fergus Cullen of the Yankee Institute. Yankee Institute is suing the state of CT because of a bill to unionize daycare center and healthcare providers. He is courageous and bold. I say sue the state and it is worth every dime, because they have perverted Unions. Talk about robbing the poor. The Unions are going to have dues taken out of these people’s pay checks by the State. Are ya kidding me? Go Feregus, I hope CT loses big time!

  5. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I don’t want in any way to diminish RVO. It is my lifeline to getting my information on all conservative issues. However, this just adds to a blog from the past about unionization of healthcare providers. This is what Fergus Cullen is doing and Yankee Institute was banned from it’s longtime home at Trinity College. Maybe because of this, I think he hit the target…..

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