Comedy Month

Alabama AG takes over case of Black Army vet killed by police as DA’s potential conflict of interest arises

Emantic Bradford Jr. thegrio.com
Undated photo of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr.; Protestors carry a sign reading “Justice for E.J.” during a protest at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 (Emantic Bradford, Sr. via AP; AP Photo/Kim Chandler)


 

The investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Black man inside Alabama’s largest shopping mall will now be in the hands of the state attorney general.

According to AL.com, Thursday, Attorney General Steve Marshall announced his office would be assuming jurisdiction over the case of Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford Jr. During the press conference, Marshall said his team decided to oversee the case to prevent the appearance of any possible conflicts involving local officials.

According to police records, on Thanksgiving night, Bradford was shot by an unidentified officer who mistook the young man for the gunman in a shooting that occurred moments earlier inside the Riverchase Galleria mall.

Bradford’s death has led to nearly-daily protests since the day after Thanksgiving, leading Marshall to meet with Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr on Monday in Birmingham to discuss next steps.

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Carr’s amicable relationships with several protest organizers is what ultimately led to the decision for him to step down from the investigation. For example, the day after the Carr won the November 7th election, Carlos Chaverst Jr. posted two photos of himself with Carr, along with the caption:

“Mannnnnnnnnnnn last night was historic. My brother Danny Carr was elected as the first Black District Attorney of Jefferson County. This journey began over a year ago. After it was known that Mr. Charles Henderson couldn’t serve as DA, Danny was appointed as Interim DA. That day we launched a campaign asking Governor Ivey to appoint him to the seat until the election. After garnishing thousands of signatures and running an extensive campaign, it still didn’t sway her. We knew than we wanted Danny Carr elected as DA and that’s what we got.”

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While the Attorney General insists the decision to remove Carr was made for noble reasons, State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, has let it be known that national civil rights leaders are prepared to expanded their protests if there is any indication that Marshall’s investigation is part of a cover-up.

“If there’s any hint of a cover-up, there will be massive protests from Birmingham to Montgomery by national people,” Rogers said. “And they told me to tell right now that they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen.”

As for who might be involved in those efforts, Rogers said, “Al Sharpton and everybody. Jesse (Jackson), NAACP, everybody. It’ll be like in 1960.”

 

Last month, theGrio interviewed Bradford Jr.’s parents as they were preparing to bury him.

“I’m really not sure what happened to my child and that’s what I’m hoping to find out,” said April Pipkins about her 18-year old so, E.J. “All that I know is that he was executed— shot by the police. And, at this point, no one from the Hoover police department has contacted neither me nor his father. We found out about E.J.’s death on social media.”

Their family is demanding answers and has retained famed civil right attorney Benjamin Crump to help figure things out.

“He saw a Black man with a gun and he made his determination that he must be a criminal,” Crump said at a press conference with the family. “They concluded their investigation while E.J. was (lying) on the mall floor, bleeding out, dying.”