Family of Emantic Bradford Jr. outraged at Alabama AG’s takeover of mall shooting case

Emantic Bradford Jr.
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)

Citing a supposed conflict of interest, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has taken over the case on the shooting of Emantic Bradford Jr., the Black Army veteran who was killed by police inside of Alabama’s largest mall on Thanksgiving night.

That decision did not sit well with Bradford’s family.

“It is deeply disturbing to the Bradford family that Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall would unilaterally and unnecessarily take the Bradford case away from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr — the first black person to hold that position,” Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Bradford’s family said, calling the decision premature. “This action could undermine any trust the black community has in this process.”

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Marshall announced last Thursday that his office will take over the case to prevent the appearance of any possible conflicts of interest for local officials. Marshall claims that Carr has “personal relationships” with some of the protesters calling for the officer who shot Bradford to be prosecuted.

Carr is the first African-American district attorney in the Jefferson County’s history. Marshall said that while he did not believe any actual conflict existed, having his office assume control was a precaution against the possible appearance of such conflict.

“This action subverts the will of the voters and detours the necessary march toward justice,” Crump said. “Attorney General Marshall has the ability to monitor the case closely and intervene if necessary and appropriate.

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“We urge him to allow D.A. Carr to do his job, as the voters intended and not subvert the will of the voters,” he added.

Bradford’s Thanksgiving death has spurred daily protests in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover. Authorities have said a still-unidentified officer mistook the 21-year-old Bradford, for a gunman in a shooting inside the Riverchase Galleria mall.

The police then erroneously tweeted out that they had killed the suspect. Bradford’s family also demanded that police to release both the identity of the officer and video footage from the mall that night.

“All the family wants is for justice to be served,” April Pipkins, Bradford’s mother said on Monday. “By taking the case from Mr. Carr, we feel they are trying to protect this officer who killed my son.”

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News it “will have no further comment at this time due to the ongoing investigation.”