The shooting death of Richard “Pedie” Perez by the Richmond Police Officer was unnecessary. The Officer-absolving findings by the RPD and D.A.’s Office also was wrong. I know because I personally investigated the matters for the victim’s family attorney.
I have about 75,000 hours of law enforcement related investigations employment, experiences, training, education, and a lot of expertise in death investigations. For 33 plus of those years, out of 50 years total, I was a full time sworn Officer, Police Supervisor, Investigations Units’ Supervisor, and State P.O.S.T. certified Police Supervisor and Homicide Investigator.
I personally examined and photographed Perez’s deceased body, finding that he had more gunshot bullet entries than the three the police claimed. Perez, in my opinion and experiences, was not a violator of Penal Code Section 647f – Public Intoxication (as corroborated by the surveillance video tapes). Perez was also not “swaying from side to side” as police claim. The agencies’ use of DUI levels regarding Perez was also disingenuous and misleading! Perez was not driving! I also interviewed eye witnesses, reviewed the store’s recorded video tapes of the events, and Perez’s and the responsible officer’s actions. I overall determined that the Officer didn’t have to use deadly force when he instead had readily available non-lethal alternatives at hand.
As in the Oscar Grant shooting death case, which I also personally investigated, the actions by the officers in these, and other similar, cases further increasingly endanger other uninvolved officers’ lives, performances, and community support (as evidenced, unfortunately, by the on-going attacks and deaths nationwide of even uninvolved officers). I’ve been alerting and warning law enforcement agencies over the years now about such possibilities and predicted repercussions. It seems to have fallen on deaf ears, with more uninvolved officers suffering the consequences.
It’s time that they finally admit that they’ve responded wrongly, have been close-minded, and should now move forward by honestly and fully addressing how to positively try to correct this dangerous and deadly environment they’ve contributed to. Intimidating and verbally attacking incidents’ news reporters by police defenders and POAs is reprehensible. They can continue to hide from it but I again warn that it could cost more citizens’ and officers’ lives, and their families, while they remain in their self-protecting denials with their heads buried in the ground. Don’t they get it, or even care?
Ralph A. Hernandez, Antioch