A Decatur, Ala., police chief has issued an apology for his department’s dissemination of “inaccurate information” regarding the sequence of events prior to the fatal shooting of Stephen Clay Perkins in front of his residence after a verbal dispute with a tow truck driver.
According to the Associated Press, Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion gave a statement on Oct. 11 regarding the officer’s commands during the fatal Sept. 29 encounter. The department initially stated that Perkins was ordered by authorities to drop his weapon and that he refused to comply. Pinion now says what actually happened was officers identified themselves as “police” and demanded Perkins to “get on the ground.”
“I apologize for the inaccurate description of the encounter in our initial statement, and we have already taken steps to improve our public information sharing process,” Pinion wrote.
The fatal shooting of Perkins, 39, occurred in front of his home after an initial confrontation with a tow truck driver attempting to repossess Perkins’ truck. The driver vacated the premises after reporting to police that Perkins flashed a gun. The driver then returned to the home with authorities.
In a statement, Perkins’ family reported that the dispute with the driver happened because the truck was not in repossession.
Video footage from surrounding neighbors left Perkins’ family and their attorneys questioning whether the police gave Perkins enough time to respond.
As the ongoing investigation continues on the officers by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, hundreds of community members are not letting their foot off the brake when it comes to getting justice for Perkins, WHNT reports.
Protesters began their march on Lee Street Street in Decatur and into some downtown areas. “Justice for Steve” and “Arrest the cops” were chanted.
Perkins’ cousin, Sheree Head, says persistence is key to getting justice in the matter. “We’re not going to forget. Steve’s never coming back to us and so because of that we’re going to honor him and we’re going to keep fighting,” Head said.
Perkins is survived by his wife and two daughters,
“We’re going to fight with prayer, we’re going to fight with protest, we’re going to fight with vigils, and we’re going to fight at city council meetings. Wherever there is a space for us to say his name and get the message out there we’re going to do it,” Perkins’ cousin said.
This is an ongoing investigation.
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