George Perezvelez has 15 plus years of law enforcement oversight, civil rights and community advocacy. George formed an interest in oversight involvement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was participating in 1st Amendment rights demonstrations in Boston, Massachusetts and Atlanta, Georgia. In those years, he leant his voice during City Hall meetings where social justice groups were present to advocate for the interests of LGBT, Latino and Veteran communities.
George moved to the Bay Area in 2003. He was soon appointed to two police oversight boards, the Berkeley Police Review Commission (PRC) and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Citizens Review Board (BPCRB). George has served as Chair or Vice Chair of the Berkeley PRC on eight occasions during his tenure. George was also the Chair of the BPCRB during its first two formative years. In an unofficial role, George has advised former Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, California Senator Nancy Skinner, current Berkeley City Councilwomen Susan Wengraff and Lori Droste on public safety matters.
George has been a longtime advocate and volunteer for Progressive Policing Practices and Criminal Justice Reform. He served as a community advisor for public safety for the local NAACP and ACLU chapters from 2014-2018. The organizations generated a policy study titled “State of Policing in Minority Communities: A study on Racial Bias and the Marginalization of Communities of Color”. George has served on critical subcommittees that generated and develop some of the first Bay Area policies addressing Body Worn Cameras, Minimal Use of Force, Treatment of Homeless Individuals and the Treatment of Transgender Individuals. Such policies have been used as models in other cities in California and have help set the standards for progressive and sustainable policies.
In his work as a Police Oversight Commissioner, George has been responsible for the review and writing of 400 plus policies as well as the issuance of findings and discipline recommendations on allegations of police officer misconduct. George added his voice in the implementation, with the office of the Independent Auditor (OIPA), of fifty-two changes to the BART Police Citizen Review Board (BPCRB) model and served as the Chair of a subcommittee that successfully wrote and passed through the Berkeley City Council a ballot initiative improving the 1973 ordinance that created the Berkeley PRC. The ballot initiative garnered 83% of the vote in the 2020 election cycle and will be implemented by July 2021.
George contributed to the Berkeley Police Review Commission (PRC) after-action report on the Berkeley Black Lives Matter protests of 2014 titled “Investigation into the Police Department Response to Protest on December 6th” resulting on a reassessment of the crowd control and management policy.
George just finalized the writing of a groundbreaking Use of Force policy for the City of Berkeley building on the recommendations by President Obama’s 2015 “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing” and PERF’S 2106 “Guiding Principles of Force” and establishing a “objectively reasonable, objectively necessary proportional standard” with a minimal reliance on the use of force.
George is currently working on a paper titled “Minimal Reliance on Use of Force: A study on the implementation of a stricter Use of Force standard” based on a review of Graham v. Connor as the floor and not the ceiling and as a continuation to his advocacy work on behalf of the passage of CA SB230 (required elements in all Use of Force policies), CA AB392 (establishing a “necessary” standard) and CA AB1506 (independent investigation process for all deadly use of force incidents).
George holds a BS in Political Science from Clark University, an AS in Economics from George Washington University and an AS in Hospitality Management for Johnson and Wales University.