Jesse Jackson delivers powerful eulogy for Black Man mistakenly killed by Alabama cops
The Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered an emotional eulogy praising the life of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., who was killed by Alabama police at a shopping mall in a case of mistaken identity, while calling for justice in his name, ABC reports.
“Today, you find yourselves in the midst of a storm,” Jackson said in front of mourners at the Boutwell Memorial Auditorium in Birmingham. “We must turn this tragedy into triumph in some kind of way.”
Known as EJ, the 21-year-old was gunned down as police searched for a shooter at the Riverchase Galleria mall on Thanksgiving night. His family has questioned the handling of the case and have demanded transparency in the investigation process.
The crowd joined Jackson in chanting Jackson, “Show the tapes now!” A call for Alabama to release surveillance video. However, they have said the video is now in the hands of ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.)
“His blood will not have been shed in vain,” Jackson said. “The officer who took Emantic’s life must face justice.”
Police have arrested 20-year-old Erron Martez Dequan Brown as a suspect in the shooting. He was hiding out at a relative’s home in Georgia and will be transported back to Alabama to face charges.
Brown now faces one count of attempted murder for the Riverchase Galleria shooting on Thanksgiving night involving 18-year-old Brian Xavier Wilson. Wilson and a 12-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet are still recovering from their injuries.
Emantic J. Bradford was mistakenly killed and ID’d as the shooter. Police later changed the narrative, saying that Bradford was a victim.
Jackson called Bradford’s death a “violent death of another innocent son wrapped in black skin,” that adds to a growing list of “victims in this sickness of uncontrolled violence.”
The funeral was a solemn closure to an emotional week after protestors showed up in force at Hoover City Hall in Alabama last week to demand answers after Bradford, a Black US Army combat engineer was fatally shot.
“This ain’t right,” said Mike McClure Jr., senior pastor of Rock City Church in Birmingham as he pointed at Bradford’s casket. “Somebody’s son is on this altar.”
According to an online obituary, Bradford was buried at Valhalla Cemetery in Birmingham