DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Lawyers for the family of Stephen Perkins on Thursday addressed the Decatur Police Department’s (DPD) internal investigation about the night Perkins was killed.
Attorney Cannon Lambert says that the findings announced by Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion leave the family and the entire community with no justice in this case.
Lambert addressed a crowd of over 200 at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, all voicing concerns about the investigation process into the shooting death of Perkins.
Perkins was shot and killed by Decatur police outside of his home in the early morning hours of September 29th. Thursday, 41 days after his death, Decatur police says it finished its internal investigation, but other than that no details about that night have been released by law enforcement.
“We don’t know whether the investigation went far enough,” Lambert explained. “We have not had a lot of cooperation that’s been given to us from law enforcement to this point which has truly been frustrating and disappointing.”
Pinion will now review the results of the investigation and give his recommendation to Mayor Tab Bowling on whether the officer involved should face disciplinary action or not.
The city of Decatur employed Huntsville lawyer Robert Lockwood to help determine if a DPD officer broke conduct the night of the shooting.
Lambert told News 19 that the only hope now is that the family receives some cooperation from police, after receiving none for so long.
“If that doesn’t happen and we are left to do what we have to do and that is file suit. If we are left to do that then we will do that, but the hope was and the hope still remains is that we will see some cooperation from law enforcement,” said Lambert.
Lambert and joining attorney Lee Merritt said that Pinion had told them he would release the body cam footage to them and then for some reason were suddenly denied.
However, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the agency leading the criminal investigation into the shooting, a request to see that video had not been filed at that time.
Then, on October 27, ALEA denied the request by the Perkins family to see the body camera footage, citing state law that allows the agency to not disclose the recording if it would affect an ongoing investigation or prosecution.
“When you’re told that you are going to get bodycam footage and then you don’t it’s disturbing,” said Lambert. “It does make you scratch your head and make you wonder whether or not there’s information there that perhaps they don’t want you to know.”
In his statement, Chief Pinion said he anticipates meeting with Mayor Bowling to share his results “within the coming week” and that the mayor would be the one to decide how and when to release any information to the public. lambert says he has no faith that the mayor is interested in anything involving the case going public.
Lambert says that he and his team will now join the community in protest over the death of Stephen Perkins.
A separate investigation by ALEA into possible criminal charges for the officer involved in the shooting remains ongoing.
You can read Chief Pinion’s full statement here.