Protestors march at mall where EJ Bradford was gunned down by police as family demands accountability
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Protestors showed up in force at Hoover City Hall in Alabama yesterday to demand answers after Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., a Black US Army combat engineer was fatally shot by police at an Alabama mall.
Bradford’s family, along with protestors said they want a “real apology” and they are less than satisfied with Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato’s response to Bradford’s killing, AL.com reports. At issue is Brocato’s statement Monday saying: “there’s honestly not a lot we can say at this point since the investigation is not in the city’s hands.”
Protestors halted traffic on U.S. 31 and marched to the Riverchase Galleria, the scene of the fatal shooting that occurred Thanksgiving night.
Protesters chanted “stop shopping here,” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” “Say his name! E-J!”
They demanded Alabama law enforcement release the body camera footage and mall surveillance footage to gain insight on what occurred the moments before Bradford’s death.
“All video evidence was immediately transferred to outside investigating agencies. It now resides with ALEA, and they will determine what it will be released,” Brocato he said in the statement.
“These are not problems that we can help by claiming that we do not see color. These are not problems that we can fix by claiming that all lives matter or claiming that someone is pulling the race card when they tell us about their experience about living as a black person in this country,” David Barnhart, pastor of Saint Junia Church, told AL.com. “White church goers need to understand that this is not something that goes away just because you try to treat everyone the same.”
The Family Responds
The family of EJ Bradford says that trigger happy cops racially profiled the military man.
“He saw a black man with a gun and he made his determination that he must be a criminal,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said on CNN Sunday. Crump is representing the grieving family.
“I will never be able to see my son’s face again or to look into his eyes or to hear him say, mom, I love you,” says the mother of the man mistakenly killed by police in an Alabama mall, adding, “no-one has even reached out to us in any type of way.” https://t.co/Cethd0mQcD pic.twitter.com/puqdlcsGd0
— New Day (@NewDay) November 26, 2018
“They concluded their investigation while EJ was (lying) on the mall floor, bleeding out, dying. … There’s a murderer on the loose largely because police rushed to judgment.”
“I will never be able to see my son’s face again or to look into his eyes or to hear him say, mom, I love you,” said Bradford’s mother adding, “no-one has even reached out to us in any type of way.”
Immediately after Bradford was gunned down, police named him as the shooter, something his family said contributed to ruining his good name.
“Not only did they assassinate his person, but they truly assassinated his character,” Crump said.
“They knew it wasn’t true even before the police retracted their statement,” Crump said.
“I feel like you should’ve reached out to me and his mother, but nobody did,” Bradford said. “That’s not protocol for you just to do something, kill my child and not respond when we’re calling you,” said Bradford’s father, who spent 25 years as a correctional officer.
“He considers law enforcement to be family, but they are not treating him like family,” Crump said of the senior Bradford. “They haven’t offered him the courtesy of letting him know anything.”
Police admit they got it wrong when they shot and killed Bradford and identified him as the gunman, and the hunt is now on for at least one suspect still at large who may be responsible for the Alabama mall shooting.
“New evidence now suggests that while Mr. Bradford may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim,” Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector told the newspaper.
Police previously told reporters that Bradford was the shooter of the two victims but the investigation determined otherwise.
“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,’’ Rector said. “We remain committed to maintaining the integrity of this investigation, helping determine the facts involved …”
While police in Alabama are continuing their search for the gunman, activists demand justice.
“Where is the bodycam footage — why we ain’t seen it yet,” said one protester. “They said they he killed a man and injured somebody else, they called him a suspect, what are they saying now … where are the cameras?”