DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — The family of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Decatur Friday morning is calling for transparency in the investigation.
Some community members in the River City are outraged and now that a family has lost a loved one, they say it’s time for law enforcement to provide the community with answers.
Dozens gathered on the steps of the Decatur City Hall calling on the police department to provide the public with answers regarding what happened during the early morning hours of September 29th.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says 39-year-old Steve Perkins was shot by Decatur police officers that morning after the department said Perkins flashed a gun. State police say he was taken to Huntsville Hospital where he died due to the injuries he sustained.
Many who gathered Sunday like Briona Watkins say a video of the incident on social media says otherwise.
“If you hear some kind of commotion at your house to step out on your front lawn where you pay the mortgage, where you lay your head at night, it should not be unlawful to go out to try to check and see what’s going on and as you soon as you step out on your front lawn, your murdered and shot 7 times by the police,” Watkins told News 19.
Watkins grew up with Perkins and has known the family for two decades. She says the community is seeking transparency.
“We want true events,” she said. “Why was he shot so many times, why did he have 7 wounds, why did the neighbor’s house have sixteen plus bullet damages?”
People marching throughout the streets of downtown Decatur could be heard chanting things like “Justice for Steve” and “No racist police”.
The Lawrence County NAACP President Jan Turnbore says he believes the officers exerted excessive force.
“With no disregard for life, they was reckless, they was ruthless, and it was excessive,” he said.
Turnbore says the situation could’ve been avoided and it’s paramount for the community to come together following an incident like this.
“When someone’s life is taken such as Steve’s was, it’s imperative that we all come together,” the NAACP President said. “This was a tragedy, it was a lot of mistakes made in this situation police officers firing all these rounds hitting other people’s homes anyone in that home could’ve got hit by a stray bullet.”
This week, community members say they are planning to protest in an effort to get answers for the Perkins family. They say they will continue to protest throughout the coming weeks if that’s what it takes.
Members of the community have also organized a GoFundMe to benefit the Perkins Family.