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A button with the face of Pedie Perez, affixed to a denim jacket pocket.

Richard ‘Pedie’ Perez’s memory lives on in public safety changes

on September 23, 2023

Nine years after Richard “Pedie” Perez III died at the hands of a Richmond police officer, the department will honor Perez’s memory by requiring officers to participate in new cultural sensitivity training, beginning in November. 

On Sept. 14, 2014, Perez was shot and killed by then-Richmond Police Officer Wallace Jensen outside of Uncle Sam’s Liquor Store on Cutting Boulevard. He was unarmed and nonviolent, according to six witnesses. Jensen retired from the department and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office did not file charges. In 2016, the Perez family settled a wrongful death civil suit against Jensen for $850,000. And in 2018, Richmond’s Citizen Police Review Commission sustained a complaint that “excessive and unreasonable force” was used against Perez.

“People should know about Pedie, they should know the story,” said Police Chief Bisa French. “Even though we did change some of our training policies prior to that, we have a lot of new officers, and they just didn’t know what had occurred, and they should. So we’ve incorporated what happened on September 14 into our training.”

This month, Richmond City Council also honored Perez, by declaring Sept.14 as a day of remembrance for him. Members of Perez’s family, some overcome with emotion, expressed their gratitude at the meeting.

The family of Richard "Pedie" Perez is lined up in front of the City Council desk with Mayor Eduardo Martinez in the center, reading a proclamation with microphone in hand.
Mayor Eduardo Martinez proclaims Richard “Pedie” Perez III day, with (from left) council member Sohelia Bana, Richard Perez I, Patricia Perez, Rick Perez and Julie Perez. (Taylor Barton)

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trying to create some healing and closure for our family. It is very much appreciated,” Perez’s mother, Julie Perez, told the council.

Though thankful for the support, the Perez family still wants Jensen charged

“We love all that’s happening here,” said Perez’s grandmother Patricia Perez. “But that cop is still walking free and enjoying his life. And it’s not their fault. It’s the judicial system’s fault. As long as he walks around nine years later like nothing ever happened, it’s just wrong.” 

Since Perez’s death, his family has worked with other victims’ families to change laws to help the public access police personnel records, limit when police may use deadly force, and ensure suspensions for officers who commit serious misconduct, Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez said during his proclamation on Sept. 19. 

In addition, the council took a step toward implementing a crisis response program that will divert some 911 calls away from police. 

Perez’s father, Rick Perez, said a non-police response may have made a difference in his son’s case. “Had a non-police officer responded to this situation here, you know, they don’t have guns so they don’t shoot,” he said.

Ben Therriault, president of the Richmond Police Officers’ Association, said the new training program makes a lot of sense.

“Many of us in law enforcement have long since thought it was time to stop being the catch-all for everything our community and society needs,” said Therriault, who also serves on the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which is working to launch the Community Crisis Response Program.

Details about how the crisis response program will function are still being worked out, though recruitment to staff the program is set to begin in December. 

“I feel like the people that matter are listening now,” Patricia Perez said. 


  1. Patricia L. Perez on September 23, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    PEDIE would not have wanted his family to just keep quiet and not fight the wrongdoing done by bad police officers, not just in Richmond, or in the State of California, but ALL Across the U.S.A. That’s exactly the reason why our family has spent the past nine years FIGHTING to CHANGE the BAD LAWS that Protect Bad POLICE OFFICERS who Commit MURDER, and BRUTALITY. I believe that this is a Good Beginning that has been a long time coming. POLICE Have GOT To STOP KILLING VICTIMS Who Do NOT Have Any Kind of a Weapon. KILLING IS FOREVER. I think this is a Really Good Article and the promises of the implementation of the measures talked about above should go a long way towards averting the HORROR of what happened to unarmed, innocent age 24 *’PEDIE’*, for NO Justifiable Reason.

  2. Richard Pedro Perez on September 23, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    ALL of this is GOOD, but Until former Richmond Police Officer Wallace Jensen is INDICTED and put on TRIAL, there is NO JUSTICE. Jensen gets to Enjoy his LIFE while *’PEDIE’* was ROBBED of his LIFE at age 24. We don’t know if it’s TRUE or just something we heard, that District Attorney Diana Becton says she “can NOT INDICT Jensen and put him on TRIAL because, No Jury of 12 would find him Guilty.” That’s her opinion. One of the main problems is, when she was campaigning for the Office of District Attorney, she is no different than ALL other candidates ~ who ALL ACCEPT Money from the POLICE UNIONS and that needs to be STOPPED. Diana Becton replaced the Corrupted Felon Mark A. Peterson who was the former Contra Costa County District Attorney. We supported her 100% because we thought that she would follow through and INDICT Killer-Cop Wallace Jensen for his obvious MURDER of *’PEDIE’*, who had NO Weapon of Any Kind and he did not pose any kind of a threat to the Safety of Anyone. Jensen knew very well that *’PEDIE’* did NOT have any Weapon because Jensen had searched *’PEDIE’* himself…a few short minutes before he saw fit to SHOOT *’PEDIE’* to DEATH…for NO REASON! Another thing that is inaccurate in the Article is stating that Wallace Jensen is ‘RETIRED’…while we feel that Wallace Jensen was ‘REWARDED’ when the City of Richmond placed him on Permanent Disability for an undisclosed illness, in early 2016, when Jensen was age 33…receiving $70,700.00 TAX-FREE, plus a Cost-of-living-increase ~ from CalPERS Insurance…and FREE Top-of-the-line HEALTH-CARE ~ ALL for the rest of his LIFE.

  3. Patricia L. Perez on September 24, 2023 at 12:25 am

    There is SO much more to what happened to *’PEDIE’ PEREZ* So Many Unanswered Questions and some Questions that we only know partial answers to…some Questions we may NEVER get an honest answer to. There were So many LIES told by Officer Wallace Jensen. As *’PEDIE’S’* Mother Julie Perez has said: MURDERING *’PEDIE’* Wasn’t Enough So They LIED and SLANDERED his Name. Unfortunately, the people BELIEVE everything that Police Officers Say, because too many people Trust ALL Police implicitly. They fail to see the fact that the Police Badge and their Uniform, does not automatically confer Honesty and Integrity. Dennis J. Bernstein investigative Journalist is the author of a series of 3 “Fatal Errors, Part 1, 2 and 3 ~ in WHO . WHAT . WHY FATAL ERRORS, PART 1: POLICE BRUTALITY IN TUCSON . published October 19, 2020 about the POLICE Killing of age 27 Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez by 3 Tucson Police Officers on April 21, 2020 who was KILLED under the watch of Chris Magnus…which was kept covered-up until June 23,2020. FATAL ERRORS, PART 2: SHOT BY POLICE IN RICHMOND, CA is about the KILLING of age 24 *’PEDIE’ PEREZ* published October 20, 2020. FATAL ERRORS: PART 3 POLICE REFORMER — OR COVER-UP ARTIST published October 21, 2020. These 3 articles by Dennis J. Bernstein shed a lot of light on the Richmond Chief of Police when *’PEDIE’* was MURDERED by Wallace Jensen on September 14, 2014 ~ Chris Magnus who was RICHMOND’S CHIEF until very early 2016 when he left Richmond, CA to become the Chief of Tucson, Arizona Police.

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