Last year, on Febuary 18 at around 9pm, Berkeley resident Peter Cukor was murdered by a mentally ill intruder in front of his home. That same night, Occupy Oakland activists staged a ‘fuck the police’ march, which was to march from the Uptown area of Oakland to UC Berkeley to support activists there who’d faced police repression. Initially, Berkeley police blamed the Occupy march for slowing police response time; BPD later backed away from the claim, perhaps because of how obviously useless it would be to use Occupy Oakland’s march as a cover for BPD’s actions. The march began in Oakland at around 9pm, and would, by the most conservative estimate, take at least an hour to make it to the Berkeley border. That is if it even did, there were times when most marchers were skeptical, and that the march–accompanied by an unmarked OPD vehicle–came perilously close to dipping under double digits. It would be an example of remarkable incompetence if, indeed, BPD was diverting resources away from crimes in Berkeley for a march several miles away that might not make it to the Berkeley border. Not surprisingly BPD distanced itself from the accusation almost immediately.
So its really inexplicable why “reporter” Ted Friedman has written this, the perhaps worst sourced and most innacurate article ever posted to a blogsite. The innaccuracies begin mildly, with a misstatement on the year with the highest number of homicides in Oakland. Both the number and the date are incorrect, the high was 148, not 125; the year was 2006, not 1998. But that’s just the beginning. This article is so inaccurate, that even the date of the march and Cukor’s murder–February 18th–is misstated as November 18th, not once but twice! This is all the more remarkable, in the context of Friedman revealing that he joined the march when it arrived in Berkeley at “10:20pm” on “November 18th”.
Despite having the date wrong, he would obviously know–since he joined the march when it arrived in Berkeley nearly two hours after Cukor called BPD for help–that the march was miles away when Cukor placed his call to BPD. Yet, after a meandering jumble of apocryphal crime statistics, Friedman states, uncategorically that: “ The Fuck the Police march killed Peter Cukor, and that demonstration began in Oakland.”
I’ll grant that the entire article is a hair’s breadth away from being flatly dismissed as hallucinatory. And it should be noted that even by the flexible definition of the term ‘reporter’ in this day and age, Friedman hardly qualifies as such. But these constant attempts to lay heinous crimes at the feet of a movement that on its worst day broke a few windows, are grotesque and nauseating. The apparently deliberate inaccuracies of date, time and place; the hysterical Munchausenian accounts of harmless street theater; and the febrile misuse of loaded accusations to describe mundane encounters: it all needs to stop. You idiots are dealing with real people’s lives. Seriously.