Citizen's panel decides Richmond officer 'used excessive force' in fatal shooting of Richard Perez

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A citizen's panel that reviews police shootings in Richmond has decided that an officer used "excessive force" in the killing of a 24-year-old man.

The dead man's family says after four years they're finally receiving some justice. ABC7 News paid a visit Thursday to the Perez Brothers recycling yard in Richmond, which is owned by the family of the dead man.

The protest signs there read, "Justice for Pedie" and have been there for a few years now. But, his father, Richard Perez, had a new sense of accomplishment as he opened the family's recycling business. "It's about truth and justice, he said.

That's been a pursuit for Perez ever since son who is also named Richard, but known by his nickname Pedie was killed in an officer-involved shooting.

It happened in the early hours of September 14, 2014. Perez had been drinking at a friends house when they walked over to a nearby liquor store to buy some more booze.

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The family of an unarmed Richmond man question the accuracy of the officer's testimony who killed their son.

Surveillance video shows an inebriated Perez inside. But, when he goes outside he is confronted by a Richmond police officer who attempted to arrest him for being intoxicated.

You don't see that on video. Nor do you see much of the struggle the officer says the two had. But moments later you do see Pedie stumble back into the store, dying with three police bullets inside him. "At that point the cop fabricated a story about my son reaching for his weapon and fearing for his life," Richard said.

An investigation by Richmond police and the D.A. cleared officer Wallace Jensen of any wrongdoing.

"I saw what I saw," attorney David Brown said. He heads the nine member Civilian Police Review Commission that ruled Wednesday night that Jensen used unnecessary force, as opposed to police and prosecutors who were trying to determine whether a crime had occurred.

According to Brown, " that's beyond a reasonable doubt. Our standard is a little lower, clear and convincing evidence," he said.

The ruling will have no effect on Jensen who retired on disability after the shooting.

The commission will recommend changes in rules of engagement to the police department, but it can only advise not require. But, for the Perez family who settled the case out of court for more than $800,000 it's a vindication.
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