On Thursday, July 7, 2016, Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark A. Peterson released a report requested by the Richmond City Council describing the investigation into the death of Richard Perez III who was shot and killed by a Richmond Police Officer on September 14th, 2014. The report also outlines the reasons why criminal charges were not filed against the officer.
For over 30 years Contra Costa County law enforcement agencies have utilized a county-wide protocol to investigate incidents when officers or civilians are shot or killed during law enforcement encounters, or when officers are accused of crimes. The formal process is entitled the “Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incidents Protocol,” and informally known as the “Protocol” system.
The process was adopted by the county’s Police Chiefs’ Association and the District Attorney’s Office early in the 1980’s, and since then hundreds of “Protocol” cases have been investigated under this approach. The approach has proven to be a very effective means to conduct such sensitive probes and joins a team of District Attorney inspectors with investigators from the involved agency to jointly investigate all such incidents. Their work is overseen by a senior Deputy District Attorney.
Pursuant to the county-wide Protocol, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff/Coroner holds Inquests following virtually every death involving law enforcement officers. These Inquests are open to the public, and are conducted by a private attorney acting as the hearing officer for the Coroner’s Office. Such hearings are held in front of a jury of citizens randomly selected from the Superior Court jury pool.
The death of Mr. Perez was investigated pursuant to the county’s Protocol. The report is attached which describes the investigation, and the reasons charges were not filed against the officer.
Inquiries concerning the death of Mr. Perez, or the Protocol process can be directed to Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove who oversees the District Attorney’s Protocol team. He can be reached at (925) 957-2200.
Read the complete report, here: CCDA Report on Perez shooting