ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- An attorney for the family of Barry Perkins is telling a different version of the events that happened early Saturday when Perkins was run over and killed by a FedEx truck while attending a protest.
"Barry Perkins, a great person. He's only 29 years old, father of two children, ages 9 and 4," said Nuru Witherspoon with the Witherspoon Law Group.
Witherspoon said Perkins was peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd early Saturday morning near I-70 and North Broadway.
According to police, protesters blocked the highway, so some traffic was funneled off the interstate at North Broadway and Cass. Police said while a FedEx truck was stopped due to the large gathering of protesters, several people started looting the double trailers.
Witherspoon said, according to eyewitnesses who were with Perkins, he wasn't looting the truck and was only near it because of concern about a noise he heard nearby.
"There was some disturbance or some loud crack or boom or something that may have sounded like shots at a distance and he was trying to move away from the commotion,” Witherspoon said.
Witherspoon also said Perkins walked with a limp and would have physically been incapable of jumping onto the back of a truck and pulling out boxes.
According to the police’s account of the event, the FedEx driver saw two people flash guns and out of concern for his safety sounded his horn and drove north on North Broadway. Police said the driver didn't know someone was stuck on the converter dolly between the two trailers and that Perkins was run over and killed by one of the trailers.
Witherspoon said several people tried to alert the driver that someone was stuck and being dragged. He claims the driver and a second employee in the truck should not have tried to drive through the crowd of protesters and should have noticed Perkins before dragging him for two blocks.
"For us it's really about justice for Mr. Perkins. He left behind two children and I think that's the tragedy in all of this," said Witherspoon.
FedEx released a new statement on Thursday:
“We join all those who are grieving recent events. We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred during demonstrations in St. Louis over the weekend. We offer our sincerest condolences to Barry Perkins’ family. There is no higher priority for FedEx than safety, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities at this time.”