In a significant development, Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion has concluded that department policies were violated in the fatal shooting of Stephen Perkins on September 29. The department’s internal investigation into the incident has been completed, and Pinion has expressed his belief that disciplinary action is warranted.
Chief Pinion met with the involved officers on Thursday to review the findings of the investigation and provide them with an opportunity to be heard. Following this review, he determined that sufficient evidence exists to support the conclusion that policies were violated.
“I found reason to believe that policies were violated, and the final report and findings were sent to the Legal Department and outside counsel late this afternoon to prepare the formal documents to move forward the discipline process,” Pinion stated in an official release.
Pinion further elaborated that, under the department’s merit system rules, the chief of police is limited to issuing written reprimands as disciplinary measures. However, he firmly believes that such discipline is warranted in this case.
“The mayor will conduct a review and make a final determination if discipline is warranted and to what extent,” he added.
While Pinion refrained from specifying the exact nature of the policy violations, he confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shot remains on paid administrative leave. This is standard procedure for officers involved in shootings pending the outcome of investigations and potential disciplinary actions.
Additionally, the two other officers who were on duty at the time of the shooting and the involved supervisor remain on duty but have been assigned to administrative roles.
This development marks a crucial step in the process of addressing the circumstances surrounding Stephen Perkins’ death and ensuring accountability within the Decatur Police Department.