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

Tom Blumer's picture

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


#1 When seconds count the police

When seconds count the police are just minutes away. If you are in danger call the fire department instead.

Non, je ne regrette rien. "You aren't angry because I might be a racist, you're angry because you know I'm right".

#2 ⇒ Is that legal?

But then again, I guess shouting "Flower Pot!" doesn't get quite the same attention as "Fire!"

#3 We have come full

We have come full circle.."flower power" has a new meaning..
or if you prefer flower PLUS pot has a new meaning.

#4 The realities of response times.

Response times most often determined by coverage vs crime rate. While a department may have an overwhelming number of officers assigned to a particular precinct, that increase in manpower is often overshadowed by an increase in criminal activity.

Officers in high crime areas are often given short shrift by the public for not "routinely patrolling high crime areas" but the fact of the matter is that officers in these areas often spend their entire shift responding to one emergency call after another leaving them little or no time to do "routine patrols".

Before I worked for the State I worked as an armed patrol officer for a private company. One of our largest accounts was doing "routine patrol" in high crime areas. We were contracted by HUD to keep an eye on their empty houses in the area to prevent the local "crack heads" from breaking in, setting up a squat and doing thousands of dollars of damage to the home.

We got this contract because the local police in the area simply didn't have the time to do routine patrol. They had to prioritize their responses and a trespass call on an empty house simply didn't merit a emergency response.

No lets flip the situation and talk about response in low crime areas. Typically officers in this area have the time to do routine patrol and are often able to respond to non emergency calls faster.

I can give examples of the apparent disparities, the most illustrative being the time while on routine patrol in the high crime area we came under fire from a local dealer that thought we were disrupting his business. We took several rounds in the rear of our cruiser and took off like a bat out of hell while radioing in to the local police with a shots fired call....response time...about 8 minutes.

On the other hand while working an estate security detail in the same town I noticed a man peering into the windows of locked cars in the area. As I suspected this to be nothing more than your standard "car prowl" I made a non-emergency call to the same local police. Response time....about 2 minutes.

As I have seen these types of threads on other sites devolve (nice Andrea Mitchel reference) into unabated bashing of law enforcement I thought I might preempt with a little bit in the way of "how this shiite really works".

#5 Hey Pickle

I too share you dislike of how our front line police officers get a bad and, IMO, undeserved rap for things completely not in their control or "pay grade". For the record: I am not a cop - but I am a Soldier who, when serving in Iraq often dealt with situations not unlike "radio calls" or "traffic stops" - though, lol, a bit different.

Cops are the visible representation of gov't policies, gov't itself, and often take a LOT of unfair flack for things they manifestly have no control over.

As a Soldier I know I was told to patrol in certain areas, and given certain things as a descening order of priority. It's not different for our police.

The police force was anticipating possible problems with the OWS folk - and one way to deter a mob is to show up in force. To do that you take cops from surrounding areas.

It's the problem with OWS that created this - so let's not blame our brave police officers who put their butts on the line every day for us in what is often an very thankless job.

Just sayin'

#6 Why call the cops in the first place?

Mr. Cukor should have just shot the commie puke intruder dead where he stood, then called the cops, and told them to bring a wet-vac and some sponge mops to get the crap out of his front yard.

Of course, we are talking about Berzerkely, where the criminals have all the rights, but at least Cukor would still be alive.

I hope his widow finds the slimiest lawyer she can, and sues Berzerkely into bankruptcy.


Vote for the American in November

#7 ⇒ Because it's Berkley?

And you'll never convince the judge bringing a gun to a flower pot fight was prudent.

#8 Here in the Demokratik Republik of Kalifornyastan

It is customary for the DA's to go after the intended victim. And should the "alleged" perp survive, the aforementioned intended victim will be on the hook for all the medical bills and fiduciary support for the "alleged" perp.
Furthermore, should the "alleged" perp fail to survive, the family will in most likelyhood be awarded "survivors' benefits" and damages for pain and suffering and projected loss of income from the "alleged" perp's "projected earning potential".

Unfortunately, I'm more ironic than sarcastic in this post.

#9 Police are not capable of protecting anyone, anymore...

The Police are not capable of protecting anyone, anymore. I'm not criticizing the police. It's just a simple fact; most of what they do is conduct order and do paperwork after the fact. As economic tensions rise, these problems will continue to get worse while resources to these "government" solutions to protect life and property dissipate with the dwindling private sector. If anyone thinks that their life is safer after making a 911 call, they have not been paying attention. Under nature's law, YOU are the only one that can save yourself and unfortunately, that does mean arming yourself and making sure the predators know it. When the police arrive, would you rather the press print a warning to all the would-be predators that the community has a bunch of gun clingers? or an obituary for the victim who was counting on the police to save his life.

#10 Dial 911 and Die.

No offense to those who were or are cops on here, but I wouldn't dial 911 to call the cops unless I know them personally(and I do know a few).

There's a book out there called "Dial 911 and Die."

The only time I would call 911 (which has been all of 3 times in my life) is for an ambulance for an accident or if someone has a medical condition that incapacitates them, or for a fire.

As evidence mounting shows, dialing 911 doesn't help much anymore these days.

As you say, each person should be able to do something on their own instead of just hanging up the phone(or staying on the line) and waiting.


#11 I certainly won't argue with

I certainly won't argue with the author's premise that people should do everything they can to protect themselves. Absolutely, they should. However, the book, written by an attorney by the way, provides examples from all 50 states as well as U.S. territories about how the police failed to protect people.

That the police have screwed up on certain occassions is certainly an absolute. However, I do take offense that he presents them as the rule, rather than the exception.

Check this site out:

It documents the more than 19,000 officers who have died PROTECTING their communities, including friends I have known. How many examples are provided in that book? I'm willing to bet, nowhere near 19,000.

I would like to see your "mounting evidence", however.

#12 Ken

I checked out your Fox News story. Congratulations! I'm just up the mountain from you in Floyd, Virginia. If you're ever coming up this way on the Parkway, give me a holler!

Thanks for your service!

President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#13 Thanks very much, Phil, I

Thanks very much, Phil, I appreciate it!

I do go through Virginia a couple of times a year, I will send you a message next time I do it!!

#14 The evidence

I was referring to the news over the past few years how the 911 systems had similar "failures" like this one, not to mention the thing about how the courts say the police aren't required to honor the 911 calls or however that was decided, and yet at the same time, people are being told to rely(sometimes too heavily or way too wrongly like that one idiot calling about the chicken nuggets thing) on the 911 systems.

And I agree about what you say about the book, in retrospect, I might have been hasty in mentioning it, so I do apologize for that.


#15 Your partly right....

I Imagine that had he shot said scumbag in the head he himself would have been charged with murder and then he would have been sued by the said scumbags scumbag relations for killing him. So then the dead scumbags relations would cash in and probably move into the guys house (Having won in in a lawsuit) then the whole neighborhood would go down from there!

Liberals: No Morals, No Standards, NO Problem!

#16 Had this been a Tea Party event

Had this been a Tea Party event, this incident would have led off, and been the primary focus of every mainstream media outlet. Of course, two things would preclude that:

1. Tea party events are sufficiently staffed for peaceful gatherings, while OWS events are staffed with far more personnel for the inevitable riots.

2. A Tea party event would never happen in Berkeley, mainly because the city council would never grant a permit for such.

"The news and truth are not the same thing." -Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

#17 Imagine a Tea Partier writing

Imagine a Tea Partier writing this about his movement:

OWS should storm Wall Street and State Capitals With Guns

Weasel Zippers has the headline wrong...they guy did not say "We will" he said "They should."

So maybe they should take up their Second Amendment-sanctioned guns and storm Wall Street and our nation’s capitals.

However, if any conservative wrote a Letter to the Editor like that, I'm pretty sure the letter not only wouldn't have been published, it would have been turned over to the FBI, who would have been at the guy's door within hours.

#18 mother

I also like how the writer believes the Rights guaranteed in the Constitution are "sanctioned" by the gubmint.

Well, most of them might as well be with all the restrictions nowadays.

President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#19 The problem seems to reside with the 911 dispatcher

That individual determined that it was a "non-emergency," so the police didn't respond right away. I'm reluctant to say that it's Occupy Oakland's fault.

#20 Its important to remember,

Its important to remember, the Police carry guns to protect themselves, not us.

#21 Its important to remember,

Its important to remember, the Police carry guns to protect themselves, not us.

#22 It Is Amazing

That they even admitted that. Like an excuse.

To more fully comprehend the Left, one must read “Leftism As Psychopathy” by John Ray, M.A., Ph.D. Caution, it might scare you a little bit.

#23 Geraldo Rivera Blames Murdered Man For Not Using 911!

At about 10:55am MST today, I watched Jerry-O try to protect the Occuturds from blame by saying cops didn't respond to the home invader call because it was the old man's fault for calling the non-emergency number!

Can you believe the audacity of that dope!?

"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it." -- Thomas Sowell

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