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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Community Memorial for Richard Perkins Jr. on the 1-Year Anniversary of His Murder by OPD
On Saturday, November 12, family members and community gathered to memorialize Richard Perkins Jr. at Carter Park, blocks from where he was gunned down by Oakland police in 2015. (full audio below)
(Photo: A framed portrait of Richard Perkins Jr. presented as part of a memorial altar in Carter Park, Oakland.)
Just over a year ago, Oakland police shot and killed Richard Perkins Jr. at the 24-7 Gas and Food on Bancroft and 90th Avenues. Richard Perkins was thirty-nine years old, the father of two children. His only crime appears to be having crossed paths with Oakland police when they were agitated over a large East Oakland sideshow earlier in the day on November, 15. 2015, near which an OPD patrol vehicle was smashed by a crowd.
Richard Perkins was not armed when he was gunned down. Oakland police claim that he “pointed a firearm in their direction,” but witnesses said that he lifted up his shirt to show the cops his pellet gun in his waistband, yelling, "Please, don't shoot!" Witnesses reported that four officers fired twenty shots. Family members who watched an edited version of video showing the shooting say that Richard never pointed anything at police. To this day, Oakland police refuse to release the surveillance video to the family, their attorney Emilyrose Johns, the media, or the public.
Sergeant Joseph Turner was the highest ranking officer involved in the shooting. The others — Jonathan Cairo, Joshua Barnard and Allahno Hughes — all had a year or less of experience with Oakland police. The family is relieved that Turner has since been removed from the department, but it was not for killing Richard. Instead, he was fired over a drunken home invasion he committed with Cullen Faeth and other Oakland police officers just a few weeks later on December 7, 2015. Faeth has been charged in that incident, but Turner has not.
The memorial at Carter Park was MCd by Richard's cousin Josiah Perkins and Nancy Armstrong-Temple of the Anti Police-Terror Project. Speaking were Leigh Davenport-deBoer of APTP; older brother Andre Perkins; older sister Regina Perkins; mother Ada Perkins-Henderson; and sister-in-law Tracy Perkins. Singers Aliya and Candice performed.
In the spirit of unity and gratitude, the family presented awards to those who offered support after Richard was killed, including of D'Andre and Trevor of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network for stepping up to assist the family from the very first day, Leigh Davenport-deBoer of the Anti Police-Terror Project for helping raise funds to cover funeral expenses, Daniela Kantorová for connecting the family with APTP and continually making herself available, and Deacon Robertson of First Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church for opening their facilities to the family and offering spiritual support. Josiah himself received an award for his mature stability throughout and for being a rock the family can depend on.
While the city of Oakland has shown little to no interest in the family's suffering or in holding any officers accountable for the killing, the family continues to hold out hope for justice. A civil rights lawsuit over the murder is now making its way through the courts.
One Year Anniversary of Richard Perkins Jr. — Community Memorial
Richard Perkins Killed by Oakland Police Same Day Patrol Car Smashed Near Major Sideshow