HomeTop StoriesCommunity gathers after six months since Stephen Perkins was murdered

Community gathers after six months since Stephen Perkins was murdered

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Friday marked six months since Stephen Perkins was killed outside his home by Decatur police officers.

The incident occurred following an attempted seizure of a vehicle.

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The Decatur community and supporters have organized hundreds of protests rallying behind Perkins’ family and vowing to see change in their city. These efforts continued Friday evening.

Community members tell News 19 to honor Perkins’ legacy. The continued demonstrations are necessary and it is something that will not change anytime soon. Six months after the deadly shooting, the calls for justice are still loud, just as they were when the protests first began.

The movement emerged after Perkins was shot and killed by police on September 29 following a vehicle seizure incident.

Three officers were fired and another was suspended in the aftermath by Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling. The Morgan County District Attorney’s Office charged former Decatur police officer Mac Bailey Marquette with Perkins’ murder.

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Six months later, the demonstrations continued their calls to see change in their city, including arresting and charging all officers involved, along with Marquette.

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They also renewed calls for the resignations of Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion and the city’s Mayor Tab Bowling. Protesters like Terrance Adkins of Standing in Power say they still have a lot of progress to make and are prepared for a long road ahead.

“When we see these types of incidents across the country, we often don’t find out for a year or two years,” Adkins said. “It’s a bittersweet feeling that it’s been six months now and we’ve accomplished all these things and we still have more to accomplish.”

Adkins says for now the community only knows each other and feels the city lacks leadership at this point.

Since Perkins’ death, others like Lawrence Souffrant say the mayor and police chief didn’t do enough in their response to the incident and feel it showed their true colors.

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“Their silence is loud, the fact that at a time when they had an opportunity to encourage citizens and try to build some rapport and some trust in the system, they really dropped the ball,” Souffrant told the News 19.

Former Decatur police officer Mac Bailey Marquette will stand trial in October. Community members say sticking with the Perkins family in their fight for justice is a must, with many feeling the need to remain consistent in their continued movement.

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