Decatur Officers Face Consequences in Perkins: Three officers in Alabama faced termination, while another received a suspension without pay in connection to the fatal police shooting of 39-year-old Stephen Perkins outside his Decatur home. The incident occurred on September 29 during a tow company’s attempt to repossess Perkins’ vehicle. According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Perkins allegedly brandished a handgun with a light toward a Decatur Police officer, prompting the officer to open fire. Perkins succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling made the decision to fire three officers and suspend one after Police Chief Todd Pinion determined policy violations in a hearing. However, details of the violations were not disclosed in the news release. Mayor Bowling explained that Alabama law restricts the release of certain information, including officers’ names and specific policy violations, due to sensitivity in personnel records.
In a news conference, Mayor Bowling stated, “If any of the officers choose to appeal these decisions, their names, charges, and additional details will become public as part of a potential personnel board appeals hearing.” The officers have seven days to file an appeal, according to city attorney Herman Marks Jr. The suspended officer was deemed to be involved to a lesser degree based on the reviewed facts.
Mayor Bowling emphasized the importance of moving forward as a city and working to ensure that the tragedy is not forgotten or ignored. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is conducting a criminal investigation independently of the completed investigation by Decatur police. Police Chief Pinion expressed the city’s commitment to accepting whatever decision results from the ongoing criminal investigation.