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Berkeley chief sends cop to reporter’s home after midnight to demand story changes

Friday, March 9, 2012

imageReporter Doug Oakley, whose work appears in the Oakland Tribune, got a surprise after-midnight visit Friday. It was from a police sergeant sent to his house in Berkeley by Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan—to complain about a late-night news story Oakley had written and insist on changes. That’s an on-duty cop, driving up to a reporter’s home at 12:45 a.m. to convey a police chief’s whining about a story he didn’t like.

Add: Understandably, Oakley was a bit shaken. Seems the chief was bent out of shape over a story reporting on his public apology Thursday night concerning his department’s slow response to an intruder call last month from a Berkeley hills homeowner who ended up being murdered. Residents have been fuming about it ever since, especially after it surfaced that Berkeley PD may have been distracted that night while standing by to possibly help with an Occupy Oakland demonstration.

Now, Meehan is apologizing again, this time to Oakley: "I would say it was an overzealous attempt to make sure that accurate information is put out. I could have done better."

Uh, yeah.

More: Here’s an excerpt from the Oakland Tribune:
Meehans's actions were "despicable, totally despicable," said Jim Ewert, general counsel of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association. "It's the most intimidating type of (censorship) possible because the person trying to exercise it carries a gun."
Image: Berkeleyside
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