Cukor’s family criticizes police response on night of death

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The family of a Berkeley resident who was bludgeoned to death outside his home earlier this year is now criticizing the police response the night of the killing.

The sons of Peter Cukor, Christopher and Alexander Cukor, spoke to press Friday at the office of their attorney R. Lewis Van Blois to set the record straight about what happened the night of Feb. 18 and to refute Berkeley Police Department’s claim that “no mistake” was made in the response to their father’s call the night of his alleged murder.

Immediately after the killing, blame passed between Occupy Oakland protesters who were planning a Fuck the Police march for that evening to UC Berkeley and police, who did not respond immediately to Peter Cukor’s original call.

“My father called the correct Berkeley Police Department emergency number — the one listed on their website as the best number to call ‘in case of immediate threats to life or property,’” Christopher Cukor said in his speech. He said that his father did not make the call to a “nonemergency number,” as the the police department has previously claimed.

Christopher Cukor said Friday that his father felt his home was in threat of being invaded and asked for immediate help from the dispatcher.

“If you look at the emergency call, he wanted a police officer there right away. The dispatcher says, ‘We will try to get someone there as soon as we can,’” Blois said. “They told him a lie.”

Peter Cukor’s initial call about a trespasser on his property came during a shift change and a briefing session on Occupy marchers who would be arriving at UC Berkeley, said Berkeley Police Department Captain Andrew Greenwood after the initial incident in February.

“We find this very disturbing — that a citizen’s call for emergency help can go unanswered and lead to his death is not a mistake,” Christopher Cukor said. “My father should be alive.”

Christopher Cukor requested that the police department create a policy letting emergency callers know what priority their call is being given and approximately when they can expect officers to respond so they can plan accordingly.

Greenwood released a statement Monday on behalf of the police department saying that the department does not have any new information to share about the case.

“We remain committed to serving the Cukor family throughout these difficult circumstances,” Greenwood said in the statement.

The Cukor family has not decided whether to pursue legal action against the police department, according to Blois.