Decatur protests continue over fatal police shooting

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 11:19 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Protesters gathered at Decatur city hall, and took their concerns over the shooting death of Steve Perkins to city council. Perkins was shot by police Friday in a confrontation on his property.

Protesters shouted, “Justice for Steve Perkins.”

Friends, family, and activists, are calling for more transparency from Decatur police on the incident that led to Perkins’s death.

“It’s a modern day lynching,” Morgan County NAACP President Rodney Gordon said. “It’s no different from Trayvon Martin or George Floyd. It’s the same thing on a different day.”

Brenton Lipscomb, a family member and spokesperson for the Perkins family, described the event opened a wound for the community.

“Frustration, anger, and disappointment,” he said.

Family members said new video shows multiple officers surrounding him and opening fire. Now, they want to know if officers followed procedure.

“If you pull up, get out the car, and knock on the door, we don’t have this conversation,” Gordon said.

“The family wants to have a thorough investigation to identify the justice that Steve is owed,” Lipscomb said.

“I wasn’t even a part of the situation, but my life was put at risk,” Justin Shepherd, a neighbor of Perkins said. “I’m a disabled veteran.”

Gordon said their message is clear: They want to see the body cam video, and hear why officers put themselves in the situation. He said this issue goes beyond race.

“We’re not just calling black people,” he said. “We’re calling for everybody, whether they’re Hispanic or White. This isn’t a race issue.”

“If it’s happening in your city and it doesn’t bother you, there’s something wrong,” one protester said.

Decatur city council president Jacob Ladner said their questions and concerns are valid, but the city of Decatur has*no authority to release body cam video or ask questions until state investigators finish their investigation. He said the city would correct any information if the investigation proved to contradict any evidence.

“We would do the right thing and say that to wasn’t correct, here’s what happened,” he said.

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