DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s been 2 weeks since a Decatur man was killed in an officer-involved shooting.
Stephen “Clay” Perkins was shot by Decatur Police officers in his front yard on Sept. 29 following an incident surrounding a vehicle repossession. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said Perkins died in a nearby medical facility after he pointed a weapon toward an officer, and the officer shot at him.
Since then, hundreds of community members have been calling on law enforcement to charge all the officers involved in an incident they say was unjustified.
Many across the Decatur community and beyond say the ongoing protests are key to getting the answers they are seeking. Some say they refuse to let up until justice is served.
Hundreds from the River City Saturday continued their calls for answers and transparency following the death of Stephen Perkins.
Protesters began their journey on Lee Street in Decatur and continued throughout the downtown parts of the city chanting things like “Justice for Steve” and “Arrest the cops”.
Protesters like Kourtney West say they’re hoping these efforts are a driver for change and something like what occurred is prevented from ever happening again.
“Today matters for Steve’s family, for his daughters, for his wife and it matters for the future. We shouldn’t be fighting the same battles that our grandparents are fighting but we are here,” West told News 19. “I hope this is the last time that we’re here and that’s why we’re here.”
Hundreds could be seen lining the street on 6th Avenue in the River City with cars passing by honking in support.
Perkins’ cousin Sheree Head says staying persistent in their calls is significant, and it’s the only way they believe their family will ever receive justice for their loved one.
“It’s absolutely important that we remain consistent. We’re not going to forget. Steve’s never coming back to us and so because of that we’re going to honor him and we’re going to keep fighting,” Head said.
“We’re going to fight with prayer, we’re going to fight with protest, we’re going to fight with vigils, and we’re going to fight at city council meetings. Wherever there is a space for us to say his name and get the message out there we’re going to do it,” Perkins’ cousin said.
That officer-involved shooting continues to be investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Many community members in Decatur say their efforts will not stop anytime soon.
They say the city can expect those protests to continue in the coming days and months ahead.