Kendrick Perkins wants to clear his name.
The Oklahoma City Thunder center, who was arrested in Beaumont, Texas, over the weekend on complaints of public intoxication and disorderly conduct, insists he's innocent. And he's hired an attorney to fight the case.
“Although these may be misdemeanors, it's a big deal to Kendrick,” said Denise White, a publicist for Perkins, in an emailed statement to The Oklahoman. “He's not happy about how things happened that evening and feels like the police were out of hand.”
Perkins was booked at the Jefferson County Jail early Saturday morning after an altercation at a local nightclub. Police said Perkins threatened to fight the club's manager, as well as others in the crowd as he was being removed from the premises. Perkins was released soon after posting $150 bond. Both of Perkins' charges are Class C misdemeanors in Texas and punishable only by a fine not to exceed $500.
“Putting everything in perspective, the charges themselves are not that serious,” said Langston Adams, the attorney who is representing Perkins. “But at the same time, it is true that he is innocent of those charges.”
Adams has filed a discovery motion in Beaumont Municipal Court asking the court to turn over any and all evidence the state would have that is relevant to the case. That could include such information as 9-1-1 calls, dispatch communications, recordings from officers' squad cars, police reports and any testing that might have been conducted among other things.
Perkins, according to White, is not making himself available for interviews at this time. But White, who was with Perkins over the weekend, said there has been a great deal of inaccurate information about the events of last weekend. The biggest falsity, White said, is Perkins reportedly being drunk.
“He was not drinking alcohol, nor was he intoxicated,” said White, CEO and founder of EAG Sports Management. “Not one drop of alcohol Friday night. We're not sure why they said Kendrick was intoxicated.”
According to White, police didn't administer a breathalyzer or field sobriety test at the scene or the police station.
“There are witnesses inside the club that will attest to Kendrick only drinking water that evening,” White said.
Perkins, a Beaumont native, was hosting a three-day basketball camp last week at his alma mater, Clifton J. Ozen High School. Current teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Eric Maynor attended the camp in support, along with former Boston teammate Rajon Rondo and friend Stephen Jackson.
White said the altercation early Saturday morning stemmed from Perkins attempting to collect money from the club manager with whom he had struck a deal for the use of the establishment as an after party site wrapping up the event. The money, White said, was to go to Perkins' foundation, which aims to help children learn life skills and drug-awareness. According to White, the club owner became combative with Perkins and refused to hand over the money. An assistant to Perkins diffused the situation before “the lone policeman inside the club started harassing Kendrick to leave,” White said. Once outside, White said, another officer became more combative with Perkins, pushing him and grabbing his arm. Perkins, White said, was upset and pulled away. The officer then arrested him.
“We still don't know why he was physical with Kendrick,” White said.
According to White, Jackson, a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, was threatened with arrest for trying to calm the situation. Rondo had returned to his hotel and was not at the club. Durant, Harden and Maynor are not believed to have been at the club.
“These cops were out of hand,” White said.
Adams is considering filing a police brutality complaint against the arresting officers.
“Any person who's been wrongfully charged of a crime that they didn't commit you would expect to be disappointed in that. That's a natural reaction,” Adams said.
“I think it's something that will be cleared up. We just need time to work with the prosecutors, get all the information and complete the investigation.”
White also attempted to clear up Perkins' absence at the final day of his camp Friday, as well as the banquet Friday night that capped the event. She said Perkins was indeed dehydrated and ordered by doctors to stay at home and rest. Perkins fainted while playing dominoes Thursday night at Jackson's house and was taken to the hospital where he received three bags of fluid before being released. White said Perkins had been playing basketball with kids all day before playing pickup ball with the other athletes who were in town. The 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity in Beaumont, White said, also played a part.
White said Perkins was in bed all day Friday but wanted to attend the party with friends since it was the last time he would see them while they were in town.
“Kendrick's a good kid, and his reputation is everything to him,” White said. “He has never been in any kind of trouble, so it's important for him to have the real facts out there.”