Protests erupt after Thanksgiving police shooting of innocent man in Birmingham, Alabama

Protests erupt after Thanksgiving police shooting of innocent man in Birmingham, Alabama
Mother of black man killed by police in Alabama mall shooting: “Its backwards”
Investigators first said he was responsible, but later said he was likely not the shooter. Hoover police now say at least one gunman is still at large. Police said Bradford Jr. was holding a gun and thats why they mistook him as a threat, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. But Bradford Jr.s family said their son was killed because he was black. 

“Emantic would be the one trying to get people out of harms way. Thats the type of person he was,” Bradford Jr.s mother, April Pipkins, said.

Family demands answers after police kill man after mistaking him for mall shooter

Bradford Jr.s family says police owe them answers and an apology after their son was mistakenly identified as a gunman.

“My son always respected the police and if you would have given a command when you came around that corner, say freeze, drop your weapon, he would have complied with your order,” Bradford Sr. said.

The incident began Thanksgiving night with a fight and shooting at the Riverchase Galleria, a mall crowded with Black Friday bargain hunters, according to authorities. An 18-year-old man was shot twice and a 12-year-old female bystander was shot in the back. Hoover police said Friday morning that the girl was in stable condition.

Since Thursdays shooting, the local community has rallied around Bradford Jr.s family. On Saturday night, the family joined about 200 protesters outside the mall demanding action.

Bradford Sr. said his son had a permit to carry a weapon in self-defense. He said he doesnt know exactly what happened at the mall but added: “They were so quick to rush to judgment. … I knew my son didnt do that. People rushed to judgment. They shouldnt have done that.”

“The pattern in America is if theres a good guy with a gun and he happens to be black, police dont see him as a good guy,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said.

Hoover city, police extend sympathy to family of man killed by officer in mall shooting

The family said releasing body camera video and surveillance footage will allow the family to heal and could help solve the case.

In response to the shooting, the Hoover Police Department said it is conducting an internal investigation and the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave. They also said in a statement: “We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene. Body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department as part of the investigation. Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.”

In the press release, police reiterated they could “say with certainty Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene.”

Read more This, they said, instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers.

The City of Hoover and Hoover Police released a joint statement overnight Monday regarding the fatal officer-involved shooting of a 21-year-old man in the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night.

Emantic EJ Bradford Jr, who was black, was killed at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham on Thanksgiving night after two other people were shot and wounded.

Protestors carry a sign reading Justice for E.J. during a protest at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. A police shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. of Hueytown while responding to a shooting at the mall on Thanksgiving evening. Police said Bradford was fleeing the scene with a weapon. Hoover police initially told reporters Bradford had shot a teen at the mall, but later retracted the statement. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

US Police: Man killed by officer at mall was not the shooter

Hoover police initially described the officer who shot Bradford as heroic. Then they retracted the statement, saying it was unlikely Bradford was involved in the first shooting and that the suspect was still at large.

The Monday police statement says body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department as part of the investigation. Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.

Bradfords father, Emantic Bradford Sr, said his son had a permit to carry the weapon. The family wants to know if there is police body camera footage from the shooting, he said. Police have not confirmed to AP whether such footage exists.

Hoover Police initially described the officer as heroic for bringing down Emantic EJ Bradford Jr. after two people were wounded at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham Thanksgiving night. Then they retracted the statement, saying its unlikely Bradford was involved.

The dead mans stepmother, Cynthia Bradford, described her stepson as a respectful young man whose father worked at a jail for the Birmingham police department. She also said of the initial police account: We knew that was false.

We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic J. Bradford of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances, the statement said.

A Monday morning statement said: We can say with certainty Mr Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene.

If Ann ONeill turns up at your door, its probably because something terrible has just happened. When her two children were shot dead in front of her by her estranged husband, it became the catalyst for helping others through extreme grief.

Around 200 people protested about Bradfords death on Saturday. Demonstrators including several relatives chanted EJ and no justice, no peace as they marched past Christmas shoppers at the mall.

Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said investigators now believe that more than two people were involved in the initial fight ahead of the shooting, and that “at least one gunman” is still at large who could be responsible.

Carlos Chaverst, who organized the protest, said that when authorities acknowledged the person killed was not the gunman, that sent us in an uproar.

When we found out about this incident, there were questions from the jump, he said. People were upset because a man was shot and killed by police in our own backyard.

Police have sparked protests in Alabama in the United States after killing a black man they later acknowledged was not the triggerman in a shopping mall shooting that injured two people.


Posted in Birmingham