Berkeley Police Chief Still Facing Criticism Over Hills Murder

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Questions continue to follow Berkeley’s police chief in the wake of a homicide in the Berkeley Hills, and the chief expects some changes to be made once a thorough investigation is completed.

Police say 67-year-old Berkeley Hills resident Peter Cukor was allegedly bludgeoned to death by a man suffering from mental illness. Cukor called police using a police department number that he found on their website. About 15 minutes later he was dead.

After a promotional ceremony for four Berkeley police officers Tuesday, Chief Michael Meehan was hit with questions about the department’s handling of the call, which is now under investigation by the city manager.

”I’m looking forward to it,” said Meehan. “I am very proud of the work of this department, and I feel like airing it out. Being very open and transparent and accountable is absolutely the way to go.”

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

City councilman Kriss Worthington said that he knew Cukor.

”It’s inappropriate for any council members to say ‘I think he should be fired,’ or ‘I think he shouldn’t be fired,’” said Worthington. “It’s inappropriate for us to be saying that.”

A small Occupy protest march was given as the reason for the lack of a quick response by Berkeley PD. The victim’s wife later called 911 as her husband was under attack.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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