Alabama Family Demands Answers In Police Fatal Shooting Of Black Man

The family attorney for Stephen Perkins has questioned the officers' actions on the night of September 29.

A Black man was fatally shot by authorities in the front yard of his Decatur, Ala., front yard, but the family’s attorney argues he wasn’t given enough time to respond before they fired shots.

According to the Associated Press, Stephen Clay Perkins, 39, was fatally shot by police on September 29. Police report it all began with a tow truck driver attempting to repossess Perkin’s vehicle. After the driver reported to police that Perkins flashed a gun, he returned back to the home with authorities.

According to a statement from the family, Perkins’ truck was not in repossession, which initiated the dispute with the tow truck driver.

The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, says footage from neighboring homes’ security systems shows questionable actions used by police when arriving on the scene.

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“They jumped up. They shouted,” Merritt told AP, as a gunshot can be heard.

Merritt added: “The policy of not announcing yourself and creeping up into people’s onto people’s properties. They will tell you it’s for officer protection, so that they’re not ambushed, but what they did here was ambush Steve.”

According to station WAFF, former officer and cousin to Perkins, Marquinn Bergins, reviewed footage of the devastating night and said officers did not follow protocol.

“The officer yells a few commands… simultaneously shooting. That’s not how officers handle that. You have to knock on the door to make contact. They never knocked on the door to make contact,” Bergins said.

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On Friday (Oct. 6), The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency investigating the case says there is no additional information to be released to the public at this time.

A vigil was held on Thursday night (Oct. 5) outside of Decatur City Hall as answers and justice is still being sought after.

Perkins was laid to rest on Saturday (Oct. 7) as hundreds gathered at Wheeler Chapel Church in Alabama to pay their respect.

Perkins leaves behind a large family, including his wife and two daughters.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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