Anorak News | Police chief orders sergeant visit to reporter’s home to demand story is changed

Police chief orders sergeant visit to reporter’s home to demand story is changed

by | 12th, March 2012

YOU want a free press? Well, don’t got to California. The Oakland Tribune reports on how Michael Meehan, chief of of Berkeley police department, Michael Meehan, was upset by a story penned by Doug Oakley of the Bay Area News Group. Meehan sent an officer to Oakley’s home to encourage him to change the story.

Sergeant Mary Kusmiss arrived at chez Oakley at 12.45am.

Duly exposed, Meehan says it was “an overzealous attempt to make sure that accurate information is put out”.

The San Francisco Chronicle explains what upset Meehan so much he could not wait until the next day to speak to the newspaper:

Oakley, 45, had written a story about a raucous community meeting Meehan attended Thursday. The story, which appeared online late that night, reported that Meehan had apologized for the department’s slow response in connection with the Feb. 18 slaying of Berkeley hills resident Peter Cukor by an intruder on his property.

Meehan said he never apologised.

Meehan said he had only apologized [sic] at the meeting for the department’s slow response in providing information to the community.

Oakley was shaken, wondering “can do this whenever he’s mad at me, or send someone else who is not as sympathetic as Mary and threaten me“.

Oakley did change his story at 7am in the morning, altering two paragraphs.

The choicest cut about this story of abused pwoer is that:

Since Cukor’s [on] killing Feb. 18, questions have been raised about why police did not respond more quickly to Cukor’s call on a nonemergency line about a trespasser.

Police radio tapes show that an officer had volunteered to investigate several nonemergency calls, including Cukor’s, but was told not to because patrol officers were responding only to emergency calls. At the time, a contingent of other officers was being deployed to monitor an Occupy protest march taking place that night.

But police officers can be spared to knock on a reporter’s door in the dead of night.

Posted: 12th, March 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink