Attorney for Family of Man Killed by FedEx Truck During Riot Explains Their Side of the Story
St. Louis, MO – The attorney for the family of the man killed by a FedEx big rig during a recent riot in St. Louis says the victim was physically incapable of looting.
In a recent interview with local news outlet KMOV, Nuru Witherspoon of the Witherspoon Law Group (WLG) says 29-year-old Barry Perkins III, of the Glasgow Village area, was needlessly killed by a FedEx tractor-trailer.
The deadly incident occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 30 after a group of protesters shut down Interstate 44.
Police diverted traffic from the interstate into downtown St. Louis leading to multiple attacks on big rigs along Broadway Street.
One of those attacks was on a FedEx tractor pulling doubles.
Widely circulated video shows rioters and looters pulling packages from the first of the twin trailers and tossing them to other people in the crowd and onto the ground.
Additional footage of the incident also reveals rioters jumping on the tractor and pounding on both the driver and passenger windows.
The driver and co-driver claim at least two guns were pointed at them from the passenger side of the truck as the trailer was being raided.
According to police, Perkins became stuck on the converter dolly between the dual trailers.
As the truck pulled away, authorities say Perkins was caught by one of the tires and pulled under the rig and dragged several blocks.
Witherspoon initially released a statement following the incident claiming Perkins was “peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd and was not looting when he was dragged” by the FedEx truck, thus placing the blame on the driver.
“There is no justification for running over a human being with a semi-truck,” he said.
He told KMOV the truck driver, whose identity has yet to be released, should have stopped when people began alerting him that Perkins was trapped underneath the rig.
Multiple people can be heard urging the driver to “Back up! Back up!” in an effort to save Perkins.
However, the trucker, certainly fearing for his safety and the safety of his co-driver, accelerated away from the danger.
Witherspoon says Perkins was only near the truck because he was attempting to move away from what he thought were gunshots from the crowd.
“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.
Further, Witherspoon argues Perkins was not physically capable of even participating in the looting of the big rig.
“He walks with somewhat of a limp, so he has physical limitations,” he said. “He wouldn’t even be physically capable of looting and doing those things.”
FedEx has indicated the company is fully cooperating with the investigation.
No charges have been filed against the trucker as of yet.
However, Witherspoon says he is hopeful to work out a deal with the transportation giant to keep from having to litigate the matter.
“If we have to end up in litigation and talk to a jury about the facts of the case, then that’s ultimately what we’re going to do, but if there can be some resolution then we’ll see if that’s even possible,” Witherspoon said. “For us, it is really about justice for Mr. Perkins. He left behind two children and I think that’s the tragedy in all of this.”
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has been in continued contact with WLG in recent days and will update you if/when a “resolution” has been reached or litigation has been filed.
Click HERE to read what a trucking law expert says about this case.