Richmond city council meeting marked by protests over Richard “Pedie” Perez

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Frustration, confusion and animosity were the headliners at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, at which the council heard from a mourning family, passed all items on the consent calendar, unanimously elected a new vice mayor and passed a proclamation in support for the Muslim community in Richmond.

The meeting unofficially began a half hour before the pledge when some three dozen protesters gathered outside Richmond City Hall to remember Richard “Pedie” Perez, a young unarmed man who was shot and killed by Richmond police officer Wallace Jensen in 2014. Police say Perez was shot after reaching for the officer’s gun during a scuffle that happened outside of Uncle Sam’s Liquor Store in Richmond. But after reviewing the store’s surveillance video, family and supporters say Perez had surrendered before the officer had pulled out his gun.

Though Perez’s case wasn’t on the agenda, 19 people signed up to speak about him during the meeting’s open forum. Family members and close friends shared memories of Perez, and spoke against the lack of acknowledgement the city has given to his case. They criticized the Richmond Police Department for not firing the officer, and scorned the council for not doing more to help their cause. Jensen has not been charged with a crime.

This was not the first time the Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality & State Repression—an organization that formed after the 2009 officer-involved shooting of Oscar Grant III in Oakland—and the Perez family organized people to speak at a council meeting and they said it won’t be the last. “If he was just a piece of garbage who deserved what he got, we wouldn’t be here,” said Rhonda Perez, Perez’s aunt.

His mother, Julie Perez, said her and her husband’s lives have not been the same since they lost their son. “Our days are cold, dark, empty and meaningless,” she said, asking the council to order an independent investigation into Perez’s death.

Councilmembers made no comment on the case and shifted focus to official agenda items. Members of Perez’s family and the Oscar Grant Committee left the meeting shortly after the public comment forum, disrupting the council by collectively leaving the meeting mid-discussion.

Councilmember Eduardo Martinez was unanimously elected as vice mayor of Richmond for the 2016 council year, replacing Jael Myrick. Martinez, who was voted onto the city council in 2014 after two former defeats, is a 22-year Richmond resident and an active Richmond Progressive Alliance member.

Councilmembers Gayle McLaughlin and Nathaniel Bates, who had nominated himself for the position, disagreed on the conditions for election.

McLaughlin said it should be a person on the council with the most seniority and who has never been vice mayor. Excluding herself, she said that would leave Martinez and Vinay Pimplé as the only candidates for the position.

“If there were no councilmembers who had ever been vice mayor, it would be the one with most seniority,” McLaughlin said.

Bates, who has served on the council three decades and could not recall how many times he was vice mayor, argued that Martinez will serve three more years on the council and could be vice mayor in 2017 or 2018. He also alluded to an agreement he said he and Myrick made outside of city hall last year when they were both interested in the position; he said he stepped back for Myrick to take office.

“Myrick said he would support me this time,” Bates said. But Myrick’s support in the second motion to add Bates as a candidate was not enough.

Pimplé abstained from voting in both motions related to the election.

After Martinez was elected, councilmembers adopted a resolution opposing hate crimes based on Islamophobic views. Though one Richmond resident used the forum to spew hateful comments about the Nation of Islam and immigration, other speakers shared positive remarks about the Love Splash event held on Christmas Eve. The event was held to demonstrate support, solidarity and appreciation for the Muslim community in Richmond after a man was arrested earlier that month for making threats to members leaving the Islamic Society of West Contra Costa County after a service.

Richmond resident William Celli was taken into custody after Richmond police officers searched his home for explosives and detonated a suspicious device.

Mohamed Alaoui, a member of the mosque, expressed his gratitude to the city council for the proclamation and the Love Splash event, but asked that Celli be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “If the house of worship would have been of another denomination,” Alaoui said, “it would have been an act of racism.”

Despite the meeting being over inside, Perez and Grant Committee protesters were still outside of city hall after 9 p.m. They had re-gathered in the lobby to pass out pens and Perez buttons to people who exited the building.

In the midst of the crowd, Oscar Grant Committee member Frank Runninghorse said, “We want to keep the heat on these politicians and let them know we are not going to go away, and we are going to continue to organize.”

17 Comments

  1. “… her and her husband….” I hope that is a typo and not journalism English at Cal.

    • Patricia L. Perez

      Tom Butt is only interested in weather or not, his idea of correct English is used, and the message goes right over his head. Thank heaven for the Brown Act, people are allowed to speak at these public meetings, and YES, we have spoken-out during the public forum part of these meetings several times, over the past year and we plan to continue doing so. We are protesting the entire cover-up of the unjustifiable killing of unarmed, and not any kind of a threat to anyone, 24 year old Pedie Perez, who was not committing any type of a crime, except for being intoxicated in public, in Uncle Sam’s Liquor & Deli store on Cutting Blvd. where Pedie had walked to, from an impromptu party, 3 blocks away, where Pedie had too much to drink. What started out as a random Loitering-Check, ended with Pedie being shot dead, by Richmond Police Officer: Wallace Jensen, by 15 minutes after midnight on Sunday September 14, 2014. We are protesting the lack of ‘transparency’ promised by Chief Chris Magnus and his subordinates. We are protesting the entire cover-up of the killing of Richard ‘Pedie’ Perez and the refusal to have the case independently investigated. Wallace Jensen was put back to work on the streets of Richmond just 3 weeks after he killed Pedie. Jensen was hired by Chris Magnus, against all recommendations and we understand that the reason he hired Jensen, is because there is some kind of nepotism. The night he killed Pedie, Officer Jensen was working a beat that wasn’t his usual beat. He parked the patrol-car on the side of the block, on Stege St. and he left his K-9 work partner locked in the car with the motor running, so that the dog would have air-conditioning, on this hot mid September night. Jensen was not wearing his required utility belt, with his assigned non-lethal tools, and he only had his gun. He encountered the obviously drunk Pedie inside of the store, and not hurting anyone or anything. He had Pedie go outside and sit on the curb, while he ran an outstanding Warrant-Check. He found none, and Pedie got up to walk away, back to the wk-yd a block and a half away on Spring St. Using some type of a Judo move, Wallace tripped Pedie to the ground, and Jensen landed on top of Pedie who was face down, with one arm caught under himself and while Jensen had Pedie’s other arm pulled way back, and we heard that Jensen was trying to put hand-cuffs on Pedie. Jensen outweighed the young & slender, 6 ft tall Pedie, by 100 pounds, however Pedie managed to wriggle out from under Jensen, and was not quite up on his feet to a standing position…when Jensen stepped back several steps while drawing his gun out of its holster and he shot Pedie 3 X to the chest. We hear that Pedie’s last words were “Don’t shoot me!” Pedie stumbled into the store, hands at his chest and he collapsed on the floor where he died. Pedie’s body laid on the floor until around 7:30 A.M., more than 7 and a half hours, while Jensen was sequestered to a hotel room, in Concord…and we are left to wonder if he was on some kind of a steroid drug? …or just what caused him to shoot and kill the 0.247 Blood-Alcohol level drunk young man, rather than use his ‘crisis intervention training’ to deescalate the entire situation?

      • John Spartan

        You forgot to mention Pede had numerous prescription drugs in his system…but he was never prescribed those drugs!! And you forgot to mention the recent arrest of Pede for shooting a gun in public…and let’s not forget the threats Pede made about killing a Richmond cop. Hhhmmm, a real winner to get behind against police brutality!

        • Dave

          Are you serious dude.. Have you seen my the video .. So you are saying what you did in the past should cost you your life..Your are for sure a idiot !! May one of your kids not be judged by his past and if he is he maybe be shot dead for a little mistake like being drunk..

  2. Actually, I take it back. The sentence appears to be grammatically correct after all.

  3. How could the vote be unanimous when there was an abstention? An Abstention is actually recorded as NOT being in the affirmative.

    As for the Pedie Perez case, I fully support the need for an independent investigation. What I wonder, though, is what will the Perez family and their Oscar Grant friends will do if this investigation does not provide them with the results they want? Will they try to claim that this investigation–like the police and District Attorney investigations–were biased?

    What happened was tragic and the Council needs to amend the rules governing the Police Commission and their bureaucratic roadblocks but is threatening and harassing City officials really the solution?

    Aside from little kids who sometimes get their way because their parents want to shut them up, are there really any instances where people have their demands accepted just to shut them up?

    Shutting down freeways, bridges, Council or Commission meetings, during cars, looting businesses or drowning out elected officials usually turns people against the protestors instead of garnering them support.

  4. Rhonda Perez

    In the closed society of law enforcement institutions, police discretion, the conspiracy of silence, the lack of an administration with integrity, and susceptible law enforcement officers contribute to the development of corruption.

    First of all, police officer’s are human beings; they aren’t perfect, they aren’t god like, they aren’t super heroes…no, they are human beings just like you and I.

    So let’s take a look at our City and Government officials along with the police officers. Let me think here, has any of them Ever been caught in any type of corruption? Have they ever lost control? Have they ever lied? Because, after all, would we have elected them into office? Would any of our officers ever be allowed to graduate from the academy? Yes, the answer is yes, because as human beings we are all fallible!

    But we know they would never be involved with secret societies, cover ups on any level, favoring those who helped place them into office, all while snubbing their noses at those of us who are passionate enough to fight against injustice and stand for what is right…or would they?

    There once was a time when doing the right thing was honorable. It showed that you had a brain in which you were able to think with, and a conscience to expose what was wrong; the things that others wanted to keep in the ‘dark’ so to speak.

    Unfortunately, corruption and complacency run rampant in today’s society. Very few people are willing to fight for their rights, they just remain brain dead while all our rights are quickly being removed right under our noses. It happens all day, every day.

    With that being said, Don Gosney, why is it so difficult for you to see us take a stand against this injustice? Is it really out of your realm of thinking that Police Brutality really exists in Richmond when it’s happening ALL OVER this nation? Are you so ‘simple minded’ that you believe that ALL officers are good and upright people who would never take an innocent life because their ego may have gotten in the way? Are you one of those people who thought transparency was really being able to see all the FACTS clearly Before making a determination of innocence?

    Well let me take a few moments to enlighten you and any others who are looking through rose colored glasses.

    This officer has a reputation around Richmond for being a rude and arrogant jerk who walks around with a chip on his shoulder. Does that sound like a hero to you Mr. Gosney? Does he sound like someone who’s well respected because of his high level of integrity and character?

    His fellow officers have thrown him under the bus by making statements like, “I knew he would do something like this! He should have NEVER been allowed to graduate from the academy.” Then there are the countless officers who commend us for taking a stand and tell us to keep up the fight. And let’s not forget about the ones who watched the video and said, “Yeah, what he did was wrong.” And here’s one that will crack you up, “Jensen was not supposed to graduate from the academy, but he had someone on the inside who pulled a few strings, and CHIEF MAGNUS chose to hire him anyway, going AGAINST the academy’s recommendations”.

    Then we were told there would be three ‘INDEPENDENT’ (Not affiliated with a larger controlling unit) investigations and we were assured there would be that other funny word called, “TRANSPARENCY”.

    Well, let’s just say that we were thrust into a course of Corruption 101; Understanding the true meanings of words from the Coverup Dictionary.
    Independent: self-supporting, self-sustaining The Police Department and the City of Richmond hired Their Own investigators. Police, policing themselves.

    Transparency: something that’s covered in many layers, something opaque, unable to see through.

    You asked if we would be satisfied with an independent investigation? Well my answer to you is, “Only if it’s truly an Independent Investigation.” I won’t be satisfied if it’s another investigator who is rubbing elbows with the police department or the City. With that being said, why not let us hire an independent investigator to take a look at the case? If you think that statement is assanine or naive, you might want to rethink your comment on that topic.

    Corruption is all around us Mr. Gosney, it runs through the veins of our highest government officials all the way down to our City officials and down to some of our police officers. Just look around, I guarantee you won’t have to go very far to see it.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We have some Amazing Police Officers who chose their profession because they have integrity, compassion, a heart to do what is right, and the guts to protect and serve…no matter the cost. Many have had the opportunity to take a life under Justifiable circumstances, but understood that it was a human being they were looking at and chose NOT to use lethal force. I know several of them personally, and respect them implicitly. Now why should they have to stand with another officer who dirties their reputations by his lack of character and his lack of respect for the badge?

    It’s a shame that you only see us as spoiled brats, when we have about ten eyewitnesses who all concur that Officer Jensen lied, in my book, that makes you just as pathetic as Mayor Tom Butt for having the audacity to care more about a grammatical error, un-error, instead of an innocent life being taken at the hand of a corrupt cop.

  5. And let me add one more thing. IF there was no coverup, and Everything is truly on the up and up; Why did the Independent Investigator suddenly quit? Why did Chief Magnus take a lower paying job with a larger population? Why did Officer Jensen come back to work and go out on medical leave once we started applying pressure? Why did the City Attorney tell the Police Commission they couldn’t contact us to tell us about the services they provide, because he said , “It is a conflict of interest?”

    So if that is a conflict of interest, what do you call the investigators that the City of Richmond Hired to determine fault? No double standards there! Right?

    There is none so blind, as he who will not see.

    • John Spartan

      Read my reply above because it concerns both your rants!!! Jensen may not be the best cop out there but as a person he is 100% better than Pede. What did Pede ever do to benefit our society…nothing!! Stop looking for a pay day cause it ain’t coming!!

      • Rhonda

        Thank you so much Mr. Spartan for your concerns, and I would love to address them all for you now.

        Concern number 1:

        Yes, Pedie had a few Perscription drugs in his system at the time of his murder, which were prescribed by his medical doctor. They were non haluscinagenic drugs that were to be taken on a daily basis and were Safe for operating machinery.
        In the Coroners Report, it was Clearly Stated that he had The Proper amount of these Perscribed drugs in his system which WERE perscribed by his medical doctor. And let me just add here… THERE WERE NO ILLEGAL STREET DRUGS OF ANY KIND IN HIS SYSTEM, per the Coroners Report. You may want to look that up for verification. HMMMMM

        Concern number 2:

        Yes, Pedie did get arrested for shooting his gun within the Richmond City limits.
        He grew up around that yard which is a 28,000 SF. piece of private property in which his parents own.
        He used to do target practice with his dad shooting at the 1,000 pound cardboard paper bales, often stacked 2-3 bales deep. In which they Never had any problems doing this before, until the City of Richmond installed SHOT SPOTTERS.
        Howevrr, due to the fact that this was such a low priority incident, Pedie was released WITHOUT CHARGE.
        Was it a dumb thing for Pedie to do? Yes. Was he threatening anyone? No!

        Concern number 3:

        Pedie NEVER ONCE threatened to kill a cop…NEVER! This is just negative propaganda trolling on your part in an attempt to demonize Pedie for whatever reason Mr.Spartan.

        Now then, let me enlighten you with more facts since you seem so interested in our case.

        i didn’t see any of your facts on Officer Jensen in regard to this case, so let me enlighten you.

        Concern number 1:

        Why did Chief Magnus CHOOSE to hire Wallace Jensen, KNOWINGLY GOING AGAINST the STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS of the Academy to NOT HIRE HIM? HMMMM

        Concern number 2:

        Why did Chief Magnus COWAR under apparent pressure by a family member within the department to hire Jensen? Is that the type of Police Chief the City of Richmond takes pride in representing? HMMMMM

        Concern number 3:

        If MANY of his fellow officers REFERRED to Jensen as “Being TRIGGER HAPPY”, then WHY was he not reprimanded? WHY was he NOT given MORE TRAINING? WHY was he allowed on the streets of Richmond around the citizens of Richmond when he was a LOOSE CANNON? HMMMMM

        Concern number 4:

        WHY did Jensen, who was a K-9 Cop go around shooting other dogs randomly? I do believe all the PITA Supporters Should be up in arms over this issue.
        Mr. Spartan, does this sound like an honorable cop to you? HMMMMM

        Concern number 5:

        Why did Jensen have the title: Crisis Negotiator when it was he who escalated this incident with his EGO? As stated by the eyewitnesses.
        Why did Jensen casually leave his Taser and Baton in HIS LOCKER on the night of the shooting?
        Let me tell you why Mr. Spartan, because, in His Own Words, “They were just too cumbersome!” Is this what a good cop does? HMMMMMM

        Concern number 6:

        Why didn’t he deploy his K-9 dog if he were so in fear for his life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what K-9 dogs are used for; apprehending those people who may be resisting arrest? Does this sound like a skillful officer Mr. Spartan? HMMM

        Concern number 7:

        Why did the District Attorney, Mark Petersen, REFUSE to look at eyewitness testimony? Why did he REFUSE to talk to the eyewitnesses?
        SO Explaine to me, WHERE do YOU think he got his findings from? You must be a highly educated man Mr. Spartan, what do you think he based his “Professional Opinion” on to come to his conclusions?
        I’ll tell you where; from the LIES of Officer Jensen. Who must be One of the officers who helped put Mark Jensen into office I’m sure.
        There’s an old saying Mr. Spartan, “NEVER bite the hand or hands that feed you.” Might this be the reason why the D.A. Mark Petersen REFUSSED to indict? HMMMMM

        Concern number 8:

        How did the (cough, caugh), let me use that funny word, “INDEPENDENT” Investigator, A.K.A, retired police officer, get his facts? ……..Ill give you a hint, , from the ‘Wonderful, Corruptible’ District Attorney, MARK PETERSEN!!!!!! HMMM

        I’D LIKE TO PUT A CAVIOT HERE:
        It would behoove the citizens of Richmond to remember his name so they can vote NO the next time he comes up for re-election by the way.

        Concern number 9:

        How could Pedie, according to Wallace Jensen’s lies, go after Jensen’s gun when ALL 10…count them, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 !!!!!!!! of the eyewitnesses said, “his arm was pinned beneath his body” as Jensen was BEATING the living crap out of Pedie?
        Oh here’s a scoop for you Mr. Spartan, because I can see how you love speaking with factual information. WE WILL be releasing the pictures of Pedie’s dead body BEATEN ALL TO HELL by this cop who felt so threatened and in fear for his life. Who, if I may add, sustained no injuries according to the dog and pony show…A.K.A., The Coroners Inquest.

        We, the family and friends of Pedie Perez WILL NOT stop until we get THE TRUTH out there FOR ALL TO SEE that JENSEN was a trigger happy, blood thirsty cop who NEVER respected his position or the integrity of the badge.

        It personally thrills me that he is no longer working as an officer in Richmond, because HE NEVER deserved to stand along side all the other officers who took the pledge to, “Protect and to Serve” the citizens of Richmond. because he didn’t respect “The badge” and what it stands for. And because the other RPD officers don’t need to become moving targets for people who disrespect lying officers like Jensen.

        I want to thank you for bringing to light all your concerns about this case. I can tell you have done a lot of research, but you may want to double check your sources in the future, because neither of us would want to skew ANY of the facts.

        Thank you for your time.

      • Dave

        Mr. Spartan.. May you never feel the pain of losing a lot of be one.. Well maybe you should.. Then you would understand.. What a stupid comment he maybe not the best cop but… Why don’t you mind your own business asshole.. Look behind you and see who’s watching you.,

  6. Rhonda

    One more thing Mr. Spartan, all my FACTS are LEGALLY DOCUMENTED. IF YOU, or anyone else would like to see these documents; just say the word.

    All we ever asked for was, THE TRUTH!

    • John Spartan

      Legally documented where and by who….your independent investigator? The video does not show the entire event and witnesses that were at the scene tell a very different story. So called witnesses located days later don’t really count. His own room mate told police “sweet” pede threatened to kill a Richmond Officer…stop looking for a pay day off your piece of sh!# relative!

    • John Spartan

      And obviously no one cares to see those documents nor about this case. Case in point….Richmond Confidential was only media to pick up this story!! Don’t go away mad….just go away!!

Comments are closed.