An Alabama police chief is calling out mistakes made by his department after officers shot and killed a Black man at this home during a dispute with a tow truck driver.
According to ABC News, Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion wrote in a statement Friday that his department has completed an internal investigation into the shooting death of Steve Perkins and that his officers violated department policies.
“I found reason to believe that policies were violated and the final report and findings were sent to the Legal Department and outside counsel late this afternoon to prepare the formal documents to move forward the discipline process,” Pinion said in his statement.
On Sept. 29, while at home, Steve Perkins confronted a tow truck driver trying to repossess his truck. The driver called the police to report that Perkins flashed his gun, prompting officers to accompany him back to Perkins’ home.
But, family attorney Lee Merritt says video from a neighbor’s security camera, which was published by WAFF, tells a different story.
According to Merritt, officers did not properly announce themselves before opening fire on Steve Perkins. Merritt told the media that officers opened fire within a second of ordering Perkins to get on the ground. Merritt also said that Perkins was not aware of police presence.
“They jumped up. They shouted. … Pow,” Merritt told AP.
“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,” Merritt said.
A neighbor, Justin Shepherd, also believes Perkins wasn’t given enough time to understand and respond to the officers’ demands.
He was spotlighted from behind and turned around to see who it was,” Shepherd told WAFF. “The officers were running at him yelling, and within a second, he put his hands up, and they started firing. To know something so wrong happened to him is heart-wrenching.”
Perkins’ family also claims that his truck was not in repossession and the tow wasn’t justified from the beginning. His death has sparked protests in Decatur as residents want justice for the death of Steve Perkins.
Chief Pinion also said findings from the internal investigation will be passed to the city’s mayor’s officer to “make a final determination if discipline is warranted and to what extent.”
The name of the officer who shot Steve Perkins has not been released, but Pinion says they remain on administrative leave.
“This has been a very painful chapter for Decatur and I recognize healing will not occur for many until after all information that can be released has been made public and all determinations on violation of policy and state law completed and potential litigation resolved,” Pinion wrote.
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‘Policies Were Violated’: Alabama Police Chief Blames Cops In Death Of Black Man was originally published on newsone.com
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