Berkeley police chief sends officer to reporter’s home to alter story
The Berkeley police union said Monday it was “gravely concerned” that police chief Michael Meehan dispatched an officer to a reporter’s home in the middle of the night to request a correction.
The police department had tried to reach Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley by phone and e-mail after he published a story about a community meeting Meehan attended Thursday. But after failing to reach the reporter, Meehan sent a police sergeant to his home at 12:45 a.m. on Friday, waking up his wife and their two sons, to ask him to immediately correct the story.
“We, the members of the Berkeley Police Association, stand with our community and share in their concerns about the appearance and correctness of the chief’s orders, and are gravely concerned about the impact his actions will have on our ability to maintain the vital trust of the community we serve,” Officer Tim Kaplan, president of the police union, said in a statement.
Meehan later apologized, saying the incident was an “overzealous attempt to make sure that accurate information is put out.”
“I have apologized to the reporter personally and I take full responsibility for this error in judgment,” he said in a statement. “I was frustrated with the department’s ability to get out timely information, but that is no excuse.”
Even though Oakley was terrified by the incident, he accepted the police chief’s apology.
Watch video, courtesy of ABC 7 News, below: