Suit Challenges Shooting of Man with Pellet Gun by Oakland Police
For Immediate Release
July 29, 2016
Press Conference Monday August, 1st at 11 a.m.
Federal District Courthouse, 1301 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94612 OAKLAND.
Four Officers shot Richard Perkins Jr. nearly a dozen times in the head and back after he told them his pellet gun was not a real gun.
On November 15, 2015, Richard Perkins Jr. became the 1000th person killed by law enforcement in 2015. Today, his family filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for his death and answers as to why four Oakland police officers fired almost a dozen shots at a compliant man carrying a toy gun.
November 15 at around 5:30 p.m., Mr. Perkins was walking through an unauthorized vehicle sideshow when he encountered Oakland police officers who were there trying to disperse attendees. He had an airsoft pistol with him. By witness accounts, Mr. Perkins was approached by the police and informed them that he had a fake gun. Nonetheless, four Oakland police officers fired at him from all angles, hitting him in the back of his head, his back near his spine, his chest, and his arms.
The Oakland Police Department has provided the family very little information about the circumstances of their son’s death. Ada Perkins-Henderson, mother of Mr. Perkins, was informed of her son’s death two days later, by telephone. Ms. Henderson-Perkins was told that officers on scene wore body cameras but did not have them turned on when they shot Mr. Perkins. OPD has shown Ms. HendersonPerkins edited surveillance footage of officers shooting her son, but she has not seen the whole, unaltered video nor has she had access to investigative reports.
Lack of transparency and disregard for the dignity of the deceased and their families plagues police shootings cases. Families have to fight to obtain the timely release of coroner's investigation reports, which should be readily available as they are public records, and autopsies are performed within days of death. The lawsuit, brought by Ms. Henderson-Perkins and Mr. Perkins’ son, Richard Perkins III, includes eight claims, among them the use of excessive force, failure to adequately train and supervise, and wrongful death.
For media inquiries, contact Anti Police-Terror Project, Leigh Davenport 415.326.8422 For legal inquiries, contact Siegel & Yee, EmilyRose Johns 510.839.1200