DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – The Decatur Police Department (DPD) said Thursday that its internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of Stephen Perkins has been completed.
Chief Todd Pinion said he will review the investigation’s findings and determine if any disciplinary actions are needed. Pinion said his recommendation would then be given to Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling.
Decatur city leaders have employed an outside legal team to help determine if Decatur police officers broke conduct the night of the officer-involved shooting that killed Stephen Perkins.
The DPD review is separate from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) ongoing investigation into Perkin’s death.
ALEA said there is no timetable for the completion of its investigation. ALEA has declined a Perkin’s family request to review police body cam video recordings from the night Perkins was killed.
Chief Pinion released the following statement:
My thoughts remain with the family and friends of Steve Perkins and all who have been impacted by his death. As the processes of the Decatur Police Department’s internal investigation and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s criminal investigation unfold, I recognize the pace of this process may be frustrating to many who are waiting for answers.
Today, our department’s internal investigation into this case was completed. That investigation addresses potential policy violations only. I will soon hold a predetermination hearing to review the internal investigation report and its findings.
Federal law and the Constitution of Alabama ensure due process for public sector employees. It is also important to note under Alabama law, a chief of police cannot issue formal discipline regarding his or her officers, which differs from some other state laws.
If I find department policy was violated and discipline is warranted, this would be presented to the Office of the Mayor for a determination hearing. At that hearing, the Mayor would hear the facts of the case and decide if discipline is warranted and to what extent. The Mayor would then decide how and when to release that information to the public. Any decision by the Mayor could be appealed to the Personnel Board by any officer receiving discipline.
I will share the results of my predetermination hearing with you once it has been completed. I anticipate that could occur within the coming week. While the Decatur Police Department is not in control of when information pertaining to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s criminal investigation will be released, I remain committed to encouraging it be shared as soon as feasible. The City of Decatur and our police department remain committed to sharing any significant updates in this case as they become available.Chief Todd Pinion
ALEA confirmed a Decatur police officer shot Stephen Perkins, on September 29, after authorities claimed he pointed a weapon toward an officer. Perkins later died at a nearby hospital.
The DPD said officers were at the home on Ryan Drive after being called by a towing company to assist them. According to the department, Perkins had threatened the tow truck driver after the driver tried to repossess a vehicle at his home.
However, a statement released by the Perkins Family said they believe the tow truck had come to the home by mistake.
The officer involved was placed on leave, per department policy, while the incident is under investigation by ALEA.