NINE YEARS AFTER the death of their son in a police encounter in Richmond, the Perez family is inviting the public to a memorial service honoring the life of Richard “Pedie” Perez III on Saturday.
The service will be held at 3322 Cutting Boulevard in Richmond starting at 6:00 p.m. The memorial is also intended to rally the public to call for continuous police reforms, and to serve as a space for communal healing and reconciliation, the Perez family said in a news release.
Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez, Richmond Police Chief Bisa French and Richmond Police Officers Association President Ben Theriault are set to join the event, the family said. Community peace advocate Shawn Dunning, members of the Reimagine Richmond Taskforce, Richmond’s Community Police Review Commission and numerous other community members are also expected to join.
“We believe this diverse gathering reflects our community’s cohesion and our collective commitment to establishing an accountable and highly respectable police force within the City of Richmond,” the family said.
“We believe this diverse gathering reflects our community’s cohesion and our collective commitment to establishing an accountable and highly respectable police force within the City of Richmond.”Richard “Pedie” Perez III’s family
Pending recommendation by Richmond’s Arts and Culture Commission and the Recreation and Parks Commission to the City Council for approval, a pair of city-owned concrete trash cans will be artistically adorned with Pedie’s name and likeness by renowned artists John Toki and Jon Sances in collaboration with volunteers, the family also announced.
These specially designed installations will be placed at 3322 Cutting Boulevard, where Pedie was fatally shot by a Richmond officer during an altercation on Sept. 14, 2014.
Almost a decade of advocating police reform
For the last nine years, the Perez family has been advocating for changes in policing throughout California, collaborating with other victims’ families to enact laws like Senate Bill 1421 titled “Peace Officers: Release of Records,” Assembly Bill 392 titled “California Act to Save Lives,” and Senate Bill 2 titled “Police Decertification Act.”
“Our family has been instrumental in establishing Richmond’s Ordinance No. 29-20 N.S. to foster increased accountability and promote transparency within the City of Richmond,” the family said.
The Richmond Police Officers’ Cultural Sensitivity Training will soon include a module based on Pedie’s case, aimed at preventing similar tragedies in the future, the family added.
Aside from participating in Richmond City Council meetings on a weekly basis, the Perez family said they plan on expanding their police accountability advocacy efforts to other cities like Vallejo and Antioch.