DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Stephen Perkins by Decatur Police, the president of the Alabama NAACP is demanding a change to the state’s use of deadly force policies.
Bernard Simelton told News 19 that he is not a spokesperson for the family but the change would be for all law enforcement officers in Alabama, not only Decatur police officers.
The doorbell camera video that captured the shooting death of Perkins in his front yard has gained national attention with protests and calls for answers as to what happened have dominated the headlines in north Alabama.
The calls for accountability grow stronger each day as to exactly how the police handled the incident in the overnight hours on September 29.
The use of deadly force by police involving victims of color yet again coming into question.
“There are situations and times where they need those weapons, but we cannot have law enforcement agencies,” Simelton said. “Individuals using that under the color of law for them to exercise the potential right that they have just because they carry a weapon.”
Simelton says that the cameras capturing just how the shooting happened do not lie while describing Perkins as a target.
Simelton is demanding that the police revise its deadly force training and policy as it relates to using the right judgment versus quick judgment.
“They pulled those triggers and shot eighteen bullets with seven of them striking the individual. And the question becomes, ‘Was that necessary?’ Simelton asked.
Simelton added that now more than ever additional training should be enforced before more situations of deadly force occur.
“Before you can do anything shots are fired and we know the result of this shooting,” Simelton said. “The rest of that story of what happened is beyond tragic because Perkins didn’t have a chance to respond.”
Simelton added that the NAACP is describing the officers’ actions as unacceptable. While calling for protests to continue he’s also calling for justice.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency continues to investigate the shooting that led to Perkin’s death.