Transcript: Peter Cukor’s call to police before he was killed

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Following criticism directed at the Berkeley Police Department for its response that night, a transcript has been released of a call that Peter Cukor made to police shortly before he was killed outside his home Feb. 18.

The police department has come under fire for not immediately responding to Cukor’s initial call reporting a suspicious person near his property in the Berkeley Hills. An unofficial transcript of one of Cukor’s last conversations, which came in about 15 minutes before he was killed, was released by city officials this week.

Officers from the Berkeley Police Department did not respond to Cukor’s call to the department’s non-emergency line because at the time, the department was preparing for an Occupy Oakland march that was headed to UC Berkeley and was only responding to in-progress emergency calls. Cukor’s call was added to the dispatch cue.

Cukor walked to a nearby fire station to get help and upon returning, was attacked with a ceramic planter outside his home. Around 9:00 p.m., the police department received a call from Cukor’s wife saying that her husband was being beaten to death. He died soon after.

The police department faced heavy criticism after the incident, particularly after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that an officer volunteered to respond to the call after seeing it in the dispatch cue, but was told not to by a superior.

Berkeley City Councilmember Susan Wengraf, who represents the district where Cukor lived, even called a town hall earlier this month to have police address her residents’ concerns.

Read a transcript of the call that preceded the city’s second homicide of 2012:

Soumya Karlamangla is the city news editor.