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February 23, 2024

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Alabama City Seeks To Ban Nighttime Repossessions

A proposed ordinance that would ban nighttime vehicle repossessions following the fatal police shooting of Steve Perkins seems to be on the fast track toward approval following Monday’s Decatur City Council work session.

City officials also discussed the disciplinary hearings for three police officers and their supervisor planned next week. Those attending the work session continued to demand the immediate termination of the four officers and of Police Chief Todd Pinion.

One of the 20 Perkins supporters who spoke during the work session, the Rev. Yvette Evans, suggested “placing into permanent city law the Stephen Clay Perkins Ordinance.”

Evans said Perkins’ shooting death Sept. 29, when officers responded to the scene at the request of Allstar Recovery, “could have been avoided.”

“I understand you all want to change some policies and make all of these arrangements down the road, but we need some changes right now,” Evans told the council.

Evans began to cry as she made her statement because she said she was “frustrated,” so her friend, the Rev. Claudette Owens, stepped in to finish it. Owens read the statement that said they want an ordinance that “would make it illegal for any towing company or other such company to make repossession of real, personal or any other type property between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.”

Evans then added that they need to pass such an ordinance immediately. She said they would like it on the agenda as soon as possible.

“We won’t wait on it,” Evans said. “We don’t need another person, another husband, another father, another son killed by the Decatur Police Department. We’re tired, we’re hurt and we deserve better.

“We’re not going to wait for you five years from now, 12 months from now. We’re not even going to wait 30 days from now. You’ve got a working meeting next week or the week after; handle it. It’s important to the community, it’s important to this city, it’s important to this family.”

The proposed ordinance got support Tuesday from a council majority of Council President Jacob Ladner and councilmen Billy Jackson, Carlton McMasters and Kyle Pike. Councilman Hunter Pepper said he is opposed to the idea.

Ladner said he appreciates Owens and Evans bringing up the possible ordinance. He said he needs to talk to City Attorney Herman Marks and then add a proposed ordinance to Monday’s agenda if possible.

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