Contra Costa County District Attorney’s officials have issued a detailed statement explaining their decision not to file charges against a Richmond police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man during a 2014 incident outside a local liquor store.
The DA’s report, issued last week, details what prompted Richmond Police Officer Wallace Jensen to shoot 24-year-old Richard “Pedie” Perez outside a liquor store on Sept. 14, 2014, though the Perez family continues to dispute the findings. The District Attorney’s office determined last year that the officer’s actions were justified following a joint investigation conducted in partnership with the Richmond Police Department.
Following a request from the Richmond City Council, Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson gave an explanation for the finding — and why charges were not filed against Jensen.
Jensen told investigators he encountered Perez loitering outside Uncle Sam’s Liquors at 3322 Cutting Blvd. The officer claimed Perez was attempting to grab for his firearm during a tussle and that he fired in self-defense.
“No information was developed which would refute the officer’s description of events,” Peterson states in the report, which agreed that the officer reacted in self-defense because he was in a scuffle for his handgun.
Perez’s family has been outspoken at Richmond City Council meetings. The victim’s father, Rick Perez, maintains that at least four eyewitnesses contradict Jensen’s statements about Perez reaching for the officer’s gun.
The family settled a lawsuit with the city in February. The city did not admit any liability for the shooting in the settlement.
The Bay City News contributed to this report.