An interesting thread broke out in the comments section of the article about Peter Cukor, 67, who was killed outside his home in North Berkeley. Police have arrested suspect Daniel Jordan Dewitt, 23, from Alameda.
Most readers seemed to be focused on the fact that the Berkeley Police Department was only responding to "in-progress emergency calls" because they were monitoring the Occupy march from Berkeley into Oakland. It seems the march remained peaceful and no arrests were made.
One reader said:
The truth is the Berkeley Police wanted to investigate the 911 call, but the police dispatcher told the policeman to continue his assignment at the latest Occupy Protest.
This is insane.
Police [were] told not to go to help Mr. Kuko [but to] stay and babysit Occupy Obama bums. So sad.
Police are investigating a homicide because they chose NOT to investigate a suspicious person trespassing on private property as called in by the victim. It turned into a homicide after department personnel overrode an officers attempt to respond.
In a press release, the Berkeley Police Department said the following:
BPD received a report of a suspicious person possibly trespassing. The caller calmly reported an encounter with a strange person on his property, and asked for an officer to respond. This call for service was queued for dispatch.
At that time, available Patrol teams were being reconfigured in order to monitor a protest which was to come into Berkeley from Oakland in the next hour. Only criminal, in-progress emergency calls were to be dispatched, due to the reduction in officers available to handle calls for service.
BPD subsequently received a call of an attack in progress on Park Gate Rd. Officers were immediately dispatched to that call.
The investigation in this case continues and is on-going. The suspect, Daniel Jordan Dewitt, remains in custody.
What are your thoughts? Is "occupy" leaving an overtaxed police department shorthanded, or should the police have sent someone out immediately regardless of the march?