San José Councilman Raul Peralez: Cop pointed gun at me at my home

Mercury News May 8, 2016

San José Councilman Raul Peralez says a police officer pointed a gun at him at his downtown home not long ago. Peralez, a former officer himself, revealed the incident when taking on a Nevada legislator who he says is giving “insane” advice — that it’s OK to point a gun at a police officer if the cop aims one at you.

The confrontation happened when Peralez accidentally set off a silent alarm in his backyard while using an electric leaf blower. The special alarm sent a signal directly to the police department.

Within minutes, officers showed up at the councilman’s door. But the leaf blower made it impossible to hear them knocking. And Peralez was hard to recognize with a beanie, dark glasses and gardening gloves. Before he knew it, an officer was in the backyard with his weapon drawn.

“When I turned they were already in my backyard and pointing a gun at me,” Peralez told IA. “I heard him say ‘drop it and put your hands up,’ so I complied and didn’t say anything back.”

The misunderstanding was ironed out minutes later when officers learned that Peralez wasn’t an intruder. That he actually lives there. That he’s a councilman. And a former cop.

But Peralez says if he’d followed Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s advice — he’d be dead. Fiore told local TV reporters that there’s nothing wrong with pointing a gun at police — if they pull out a firearm first.

“Whether you’re a stranger, a bad guy, or an officer, and you point your gun at me and you’re going to shoot me and I have to decide whether it’s my life or your life, I choose my life,” Fiore told reporters.

Peralez called that “pure ignorance.”

“As the owner of a handgun and a concealed weapon permit I often carry my handgun, but I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that had I pointed it at the officer that day, I would not be typing this message today and it would have been a completely justified shooting by that officer,” Peralez posted on Facebook.