UPDATE: On Friday, Sept. 29, at the request of the Decatur Police Chief, Todd Pinion, Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) launched an investigation concerning an officer-involved shooting, which involved officers with the Decatur Police Department.
Officers responded to a call in the 3000 Block of Ryan Drive, in Decatur, involving a man with a gun. The man later identified as Stephen Perkins, 39, was found to be armed with a handgun which was also equipped with a light. During the course of the incident Perkins brandished the weapon towards an officer with the Decatur Police Department, causing the officer to fire at Perkins. Perkins was transported to a nearby medical facility where he succumbed to his injuries.
There have been rumors of an ongoing investigation, but the City of Decatur has not made any effort to reach out to the family or address the incident involving Clay’s tragic passing. The family has not been provided with any footage of Clay’s fatal encounter from either the City of Decatur’s police department or the Alabama Law Enforcement Department.
Additionally, neither of these agencies has taken the time to acknowledge Clay’s death with the family. The family and community deserve prompt closure in this matter. It deeply saddens us that the City of Decatur has neglected to offer condolences, show respect, or inform Mrs. Catrela Perkins (Clay’s wife) and the Perkins family regarding the use of excessive force and Clay Perkins’ tragic death at the hands of the Decatur Police Department.
The city possesses body cameras that should have been activated during the incident. The family is demanding that the city provide them with access to this footage. Additionally, there is existing surveillance footage of the incident captured by home security cameras.
This footage clearly shows an unjustifiable and excessive use of force. There have been rumors spreading about the Decatur Police Department’s statement, unfairly portraying Clay as confrontational or hostile.
This has provoked anger within marginalized communities across Alabama. It’s important to note that this portrayal does not align with Clay Perkins’ true character. He was a young black man who prioritized his family and was dedicated to achieving excellence.
Despite the numerous rumors in circulation, the family has obtained financial records that verify Clay’s consistent monthly payments through his financing company. There is no evidence to suggest that Clay’s vehicle was in the process of being repossessed, indicating that both the Towing Company and the City of Decatur Police Department wrongly arrived at Clay’s residence.
Additionally, the family has acquired a comprehensive understanding of the excessive force employed by the Decatur Alabama Police Department. Clay sustained seven wounds during this encounter, despite being the wrong person, and a neighbor’s home was struck by approximately nine bullets.
Nothing further is available as the investigation is ongoing. Once complete, the findings will be turned over to the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office.
On September 29, 2023 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Officers with the Decatur Police Department were dispatched to a local towing company in reference to a man with a gun call.
Officers arrived on scene and made contact with a tow truck driver who had attempted to repossess a vehicle from the 3900 block of Ryan Drive SW. During the initial interaction, the homeowner pulled a handgun on the tow truck driver, who fled the scene.
Officers made their way to the residence, along with the tow truck driver. The homeowner exited the residence armed with a handgun and began to threaten the tow truck driver. Officers on scene ordered the homeowner to drop his weapon, which he refused to do. It was at this time the homeowner turned the gun towards one of the Officers on scene. The Officer discharged his duty weapon, striking the subject.
After the shots were fired, Officers on scene called for medical assistance and began to render first aid until their arrival. The subject was transported to Huntsville Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
No Officers were injured during the incident.
Per Decatur Police Department policy, the Officer will be placed on administrative leave. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) was notified and responded to the scene. They have taken over the investigation and any questions regarding the investigation should be directed to ALEA.