This incident is being investigated by legal groups to determine the extent of the First Amendment violation. There is no way to spin this as being anything other than an intimidation attempt to have a reporter change what they wrote to suit an already powerful authority in a position to extract retaliation all the way up to death.
The Berkeley Police decided to ignore non-emergency calls in anticipation of marchers arriving at a walking pace from a city adjacent to their patrol area. The marchers were 45 minutes to an hour away according to reports. Despite these facts the police and mainstream media have repeatedly tried to paint this death as the responsibility of Occupiers despite the fact they were no where near their jurisdiction and by all accounts not engaging in any activity that would necessitate a high alert response.
But to harass the reporter that relayed the City Council's discussion of these events to create a picture that makes the Police Chief not look like a fear mongering idiot despite the actual events is beyond the pale. How many lines must be crossed before the population and our judiciary wakes up to the fact that our police forces are not accountable to anyone and their every act just reinforces that.
BERKELEY -- Minutes after reading a late-night news story online about him that he perceived to be inaccurate, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered a sergeant to a reporter's home insisting on changes, a move First Amendment experts said reeked of intimidation and attempted censorship.
Meehans's actions were "despicable, totally despicable," said Jim Ewert, general counsel of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association. "It's the most intimidating type of (censorship) possible because the person trying to exercise it carries a gun."
Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley said he was shaken by the 12:45 a.m. Friday knock on the door of his Berkeley home. He said at first he and his wife thought something was drastically wrong or perhaps that a relative had died.
Here is an excerpt of the article I suspect prompted the Berkeley Police Chief to send an armed
thug sergeant to the reporter's residence at 12:45 am to have a little talk about his writing style.
A timeline of the incident included in the statement said that about 9 p.m., one Berkeley officer noticed several pending calls for service, including two "suspicious circumstances" calls, and offered to respond to one of them. He was told no, however, because only emergency calls in progress were to be dispatched.
About two minutes later, police received the call of an attack in progress at the victim's Park Gate home. Officers were dispatched within a minute of receiving that call, and an officer arrived on the scene within five minutes, the statement said. Additional officers responded soon thereafter, the statement said, and the suspect was arrested nearby at 9:22 p.m.
Wengraf said she knows Cukor from working in city politics for 20 years, and their children went to elementary school together.
On the other side of town in west Berkeley, City Councilman Darryl Moore said that the inability of police to immediately respond to the first nonemergency call points to the need for more police officers in the city.