Berkeley Police Chief Under Fire For Sending Officer To Reporter’s Home

BERKELEY (CBS SF/AP) — Berkeley’s police chief has come under fire after he sent an officer to a newspaper reporter’s home in the middle of the night to demand changes to a story.

Sgt. Mary Kusmiss knocked on Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley’s door around 12:45 a.m. Friday on Chief Michael Meehan’s orders.

Meehan apparently thought Oakley misreported what he said during a public meeting about the police department’s response in a local resident’s beating death.

Oakley said he was shaken by Kusmiss’s visit. First Amendment experts decried it as an attempt at censorship by intimidation.

Meehan has since apologized, calling his actions “overzealous.” He said he didn’t think Oakley would be intimidated or upset since Kusmiss regularly deals with the media.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • lee

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.

    Corrupt DOJ employees tamper with my car. Who do they think they are that they can cause a automobile accident only because I complain about being harassed and stolen from.

    I parked my car at the Noah’s baggle store in Milpitas. While I went inside one blocked view with her car, another watched me inside the store, while another damaged the interior of my car. In the past they have also pried off wheel weights and also put slices in my tires.

    Stupid and corrupt is a deadly combination.

  • Lisa

    The police chief could send Sgt. Kusmiss to a reporter’s home to try to intimidate him into changing a story but the department couldn’t send an officer to Peter Cukor’s home when he called for assistance. This is looking worse and worse. I can’t believe what poor judgment this man has! Did he think that Mr. Oakley would be so intimidated that he would stay silent? Chief Meehan needs to be fired. I think Councilwoman Susan Wengraf should call a community meeting regarding this.

  • Guapi

    Meehan is toast.

  • JaneQPublic

    Sending an armed cop to a reporter’s door in the middle of the night for NO LEGITIMATE PURPOSE (to intimidate the reporter to get him to change his news story) is ABUSE under COLOR OF LAW and smacks of GESTAPO TACTICS, pure and simple. Chief Meehan’s explanation that he was ‘going to deal with this here and now’ is no different than any two-bit thug. he needs to be fired. How many OTHER people has he improperly tried to intimidate using the threat of badge & gun?

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