Berkeley Man Murdered After Police 'Pre-Occupied' With Occupy Movement Failed to Respond to Initial 911 Call

A man in Berkeley has died as the result of a violent crime. A contributing factor to his death was a failure by the police to respond to a 911 called which was deemed a "non-emergency." The police were in a posture of only responding to "emergency" calls because "were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland."

It will be interesting to see if this gets covered by the establishment press outside of Northern California, especially now that Drudge had it in his headlines during much of the day. Here is part of the original report from KCBS in San Francisco:


Man Fatally Attacked Outside Home In Berkeley Hills

A 23-year-old Alameda man is in jail on suspicion of murder after police say he fatally attacked another man outside the man’s home in the Berkeley hills.

Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said a woman called police Saturday night and reported that she and her husband had arrived home to find a stranger near their garage.

Peter Cukor was attacked after he asked the man to leave. The 67-year-old owner of a logistics consulting firm, died later in the hospital.

The early portion of the accompanying video at the link indicates that there was suspicion from the start that police resources were "pre-Occupied." A follow-up report contains the admission that was indeed the case:

Ignored 911 Call Turns Fatal In Berkeley; Police Busy With Occupy Protest

Berkeley Police acknowledge they didn’t immediately respond to a call in the hills that would eventually result in a homicide this past Saturday.

Officers were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland and said it didn’t appear to be an emergency.

Neighbors in the area of Grizzly Peak Blvd. and Park Gate Road said that the police response to the call was slow.

Police issued a statement Monday night that said the initial call was for trespassing and that because on-duty officers were being reconfigured for the protest; only emergency calls were to be handled.

Police said they did immediately responded to a 911 call about an assault in the same area that came later that evening, but it was too late.

Peter Cukor, 67, had been beaten to death with a flower pot. The suspect, 23-year-old Daniel Dewitt, was taken into custody and will be arraigned on Wednesday.

It's interesting, and sadly not surprising, that the first report above is sourced to "KCBS/AP" (i.e., the Associated Press), while the second belongs to CBS alone.

That there have been heavy cost-related consequences relating to the Occupy movement's largely illegal activities is well-established. That there are potential -- and in this case, actual -- consequences adversely affecting public safety because of the law-enforcement resources which have had to be committed to maintain order at Occupy movement events and actions should be fairly obvious, but hasn't been to the most of the establishment press during its five-month run. Something like what just happened in Berkeley became "progressively" more likely the longer the it pointlessly ran on.

Now it has happened. Will anyone besides KCBS report the clear and admitted connection?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.