A former Alabama police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Stephen Perkins, a black man who confronted a tow truck driver as he was was trying to repossess his truck.
Mac Bailey Marquette, 23, previously an officer with the Decatur Police Department, turned himself in Thursday at the county jail and was booked on a grand jury warrant for murder, Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson announced at a press conference Friday.
“It is not easy for me to be in a position of prosecuting an officer, but in this circumstance, it is the right thing to do,” Anderson told reporters.
Marquette was pictured smirking in a mugshot, before he was released from the Morgan County Jail on a $30,000 bond late Friday morning.
Marquette’s arrest came less than two weeks after the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) handed over the findings of its months-long investigation into the deadly officer-involved shooting to the DA’s office.
Three other officers who were involved in the incident, Christopher Mukkadam, Joey Williams and Vance Summers, are not facing criminal charges because they did not fire shots at Perkins, Anderson said.
Perkins, 39, was shot dead by an officer, later identified as Marquette, outside his Decatur home on Sept. 29, after a tow truck driver who had come to haul away the victim’s vehicle told cops accompanying him that he had been threatened with a gun.
Perkins was armed with a handgun equipped with a light and “brandished the weapon towards an officer,” prompting him to open fire, the ALEA said in a statement issued in September.
Surveillance video from a neighbor’s home published by WAFF in November captured a barrage of bullets being fired at Perkins.
The video also showed the victim’s truck being callously towed away as he lay dying on the ground, just steps away from his home.
An attorney for Perkins’ family claimed that the officer immediately opened fire on the homeowner, who did not seem to be aware of the cops’ presence on his property, based on the video.
The man’s family also said the payments on his GMC Sierra truck were up to date, which is why he was trying to stop the repossession.
Perkins was a married father-of-two who worked for a pet food manufacturer and had a mostly clean criminal record, aside for a DUI arrest more than a decade ago, NBC News previously reported.
Perkins’ killing was followed by months of protests and marches in Decatur.
The man’s family has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the police officers involved in the shooting and Decatur city officials.
Three of the cops, among them Marquette, were fired last month, and the fourth was suspended without pay.
All four officers have appealed the decisions concerning their employment, and hearings for those appeals were scheduled to begin later this month.