Mark Petersen-Perez

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Mark Petersen-Perez is a watchdog of local governments in various cities in the greater San Francisco Bay region, political activist, financial analyst, and publisher of the online Palo Alto Free Press.

Petersen-Perez provoked the Police Chief of Palo Alto into appearing to admit to a policy of racial profiling, resulting in both widespread media coverage as well as activism in cities outside of Palo Alto, then he led a successful campaign leading to her resignation and change in police policy.[1][2] Petersen-Perez is an outspoken opponent of police misconduct,[3] the police use of tasers,[4][5][6] of racial discrimination,[1] and is a local political advocate for the homeless. He has been described as "one of the most outspoken anti-taser activists".[5]

One story reported that just the mention of his name in a government meeting resulted in a shouting match and subsequent press coverage.[6] When Petersen-Perez used the internet at his employers during his breaks to petition the government, the government repeatedly petitioned his private sector employers to terminate him, resulting in loss of employment in a chain of jobs.[3][7]

Front page image captions and news stories about Petersen-Perez have unusual characterizations of him ranging from "outspoken" and "fervent" to "maniacal".[3][5][8][9][10] He is frequent speaker at Palo Alto City Council meetings.[8] He is a financial analyst professionally, and analyses taser company finances as an activist.[4][11]

Personal life[edit]

Petersen-Perez is a resident of Palo Alto and citizen of Nicaragua.[11] He has worked with the Humane Society.[12]


  1. ^ a b “Petersen-Perez is leading the charge to have Palo Alto Chief of Police Lynne Johnson resign”, Chief Scoffs At Calls To Resign, Palo Alto Daily News, 2-2-2005, Page 1
  2. ^ "...Mark Petersen Perez... alleged that officers singled out drivers from East Palo Alto. (Police Chief) Johnson denied the charge — but said... if they saw a man wearing a do-rag on his head — which two of the robbery suspects reportedly wore — they should question him... The story hit newspapers’ front pages and TV newscasts around the Bay Area.", Police Chief Resigns in wake of profiling scandal, Ian S. Port, Palo Alto Daily Post, 11-21-2008, Page 1
  3. ^ a b c “Civic debates often get heated in Palo Alto, but a new fracas between the city attorney’s office and fervent police critic Mark Petersen- Perez involves accusations of... free-speech infringement... Petersen-Perez is outraged that City Attorney Gary Baum contacted his employer... to block harshly critical e-mails Petersen-Perez was sending to city employees... claiming the effort to block his e-mails was unconstitutional”, Civic Debate Gets Ugly, Palo Alto Daily Post, 1-20-2009, Page 1
  4. ^ a b "Mr. Petersen-Perez is a financial analyst and he spoke about Taser International’s financial statement.", City of Palo Alto Taser Task Force Report, 1-29-2007, [1]
  5. ^ a b c "One of the most outspoken anti-Taser activists, Mark Petersen-Perez,", Would You Like That Grilled or Tased?, Palo Alto Weekly, June 13, 2007
  6. ^ a b “By mentioning the name of a Taser opponent (Mark Petersen-Perez), Larkin’s comments sparked an outburst… Mark Petersen-Perez, an active anti-Taser e-mailer and commenter….”, Police need Tasers, Palo Alto Task Force Says, Shouting Match Erupts at Contentious Meeting, Palo Alto Online News, 4-11-2007
  7. ^ "Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa said yesterday he's going to have a talk with City Hall critic Mark Petersen-Perez... Espinosa, who became mayor in January, has publicly warned that he may cut off or "censure" people...", P. A. Mayor Wants Chat With Critic, Daily Post, David Debolt, 3-16-2011, Page 1
  8. ^ a b "Anyone who has attended a Palo Alto City Council meeting knows frequent speaker Mark Petersen-Perez... the sometimes well spoken, other times maniacal Police Department critic...",City's Attorney responds to Caustic Attacks, Palo Alto Weekly, 11-21-2007
  9. ^ Mark Petersen Perez, Front Page Image and Caption, Palo Alto Daily News, 2-2-2005
  10. ^ Mark Petersen Perez, Front Page Image and Caption, Palo Alto Daily Post, 1-20-2009
  11. ^ a b ”Mark Petersen-Perez, Resident of Palo Alto and Citizen of Nicaragua, recommended that Palo Alto and other cities become taser-free zones. Mr. Petersen-Perez also commented that police records and other data are not readily available to the public due to budgetary problems. Mr. Petersen-Perez stated that the Public records Act must be fulfilled, regardless of budgetary problems.”, San Jose Sunshine Reform Task Force, Meeting Minutes, 2-24-07
  12. ^ Shooter sought in Cat Shooting Case