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.
Bradfords father said his son was a 21-year-old Army veteran with a permit to carry a weapon. The statement police released early Monday suggested Bradford shouldnt have pulled it out.
Bradford, a US Army veteran, had a permit to carry a weapon, according to his attorney, Ben Crump. “It doesnt matter if youre a good guy with a gun. If youre black, the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later,” the civil rights attorney said Monday, the New York Post reported.Hoover police offered their sympathies for killing Bradford in the statement in which they blamed him for holding a weapon, as he was legally entitled to do. The man did not violate a law and was mistakenly killed by the police anyway.
“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,” the statement from the city of Hoover and its police department says.
“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.
Video: Family of man shot, killed by police demands answers
Bradfords parents appeared on CNN later Monday morning, saying police still havent spoken with them. They want to see body-camera video, and theyve hired a civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, to help them.
Alabama Cops Blame Innocent Man After Killing Him on Thanksgiving
“We dont trust the police department because theyve already lied to them. They released his picture all over the world saying he was the shooter and the police officer was a hero,” Crump said.
Crump said several witnesses have reached out to the family saying the officer shot Bradford “within milliseconds,” without saying a word to him.
Alabama Mall Shooting: Emantic Bradford Family Demands Video Release
“It doesnt matter if youre a good guy with a gun, if youre black the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later,” Crump said.
Alabama police say black mans gun heightened threat
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.”
People against gun control need to let go of this wet dream of heroically stopping the bad guys and being showered with praise and kisses—because the cops continue to show that they arent equipped to live in a society where anyone might be armed, and frankly, they abuse the possibility and use it to justify murder. Our normal is one where anyone could get shot at any time, and we just have to react. If theyre so scared all the time, maybe we need to de-escalate as a society and stop trying to pretend an environment where guns are so accessible isnt a preternaturally hostile one.
The police also expressed sympathy for the family of the 18-year-old man and the 12-year-old girl who were wounded in the initial shooting and said they are “pursuing the initial shooter who still remains at large.”
But when a Black man with Army training, who was legally allowed to carry a gun, was mistakenly shot by police after he drew his firearm following an altercation in an Alabama mall that saw another person shoot two young people, the gun rights world was largely silent.
Thursday night at a Hoover, Alabama mall, 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was shot and killed by a Hoover police officer during a conflict in which two people were injured by gunfire. The initial police statement said that the officer was “heroic” in shooting Bradford and it wasn’t until days later that the rest of the story began to trickle out.
Police eventually retracted their statement, after it became clear that they shot the wrong person. The actual shooter is likely still at large. Officers identified Bradford and released a new statement Monday morning acknowledging the “tragedy,” but also suggested Bradford should not have drawn his gun.
“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,” the city of Hoover and its police department said in their statement. “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.”
Bradford’s family is calling for “equal justice,” and say they want the body cam video released to the public, which they say shows him trying to defuse the chaos, standing over one shooting victim, protecting them from the shooter.
Bradford has not received any kind of public support from the gun rights movement as a “good guy with a gun.” Monday morning, the NRA, which has yet to issue any statements on Bradford’s death, tweeted out a gif of LaPierre saying, “To preserve our values and protect our freedom, America needs the good guys to step up like never before.”
Video: Family Of Alabama Man Fatally Shot By Police At Mall Demand Answers | TODAY
Are you ready to step up to preserve our values and protect our #freedom? #2A pic.twitter.com/Dt0KQidEKp
“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,” the statement said. They later clarified the use of the verb “brandished” saying it meant Bradford was holding a gun.
Hoover officials release week one update on Riverchase Galleria shootings, clarify earlier report
Rather than commenting on the incident, NRA staff, social media personalities, and NRATV hosts have largely dedicated their time to tweeting about the migrant caravan seeking asylum in the United States, and pushing racist conspiracy theories about the migrants themselves.
Hoover police initially portrayed Bradford as the gunman saying officers acted heroically to “take out the threat” within seconds of shots being fired in the crowded mall. Then they retracted the statement, saying Bradford was likely not the gunman responsible for the initial shooting, who remains at large.
Colion Noir, host of NRATV’s web series “Noir,” appears to be the only NRA social media presence speaking about the shooting, though he initially refused to comment extensively, saying he would wait until more facts were known.
On Sunday, after details of the shooting began to trickle out, Noir tweeted, “[Bradford] was mistakenly shot for having a gun it seems.”
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama offered sympathy Monday to the family of a black man killed by an officer responding to a shooting at a shopping mall, but said the mans visible handgun “heightened the sense of threat” to police in an already chaotic scene.
Noir also pushed back on claims by some Twitter users that the NRA was preventing him from speaking out about Bradford.
“We are deeply and sincerely sympathetic to Mr. Bradfords grieving family and all of those affected by this incident. We all want answers and we believe that with patience and focus, the truth will be firmly established,” the statement says.
Prominent NRA leaders, staff, and spokespeople such Dana Loesch and Antonia Okafor, have avoided the story on social media. None of the official NRA accounts have mentioned it.
Kaitlin Bennett, who does not work for the NRA but has been celebrated for her extreme gun advocacy, was one of the only prominent Second Amendment advocates on social media to reference the shooting, even indirectly. On Saturday, Bennett retweeted Alex Chatoff — whose profile identifies them as a survivor of the Borderline Bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, California last month — who had tweeted about Bradford’s shooting, highlighting Bradford’s efforts to stop the initial altercation.
The familys lawyer said witnesses have contacted his law firm saying Bradford was trying to “wave people away from the shooting” and the officer did not issue any verbal commands to drop the weapon before shooting the 21-year-old.
“Wait so a good guy with a gun was able to stop a bad guy with a gun instantly and save the lives of countless citizens? Interesting how that works,” Chatoff wrote.
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford pulled gun during Alabama mall shooting, cops say
Right-wing site Breitbart, which usually does not shy away from stories about gun rights, has also avoided much coverage of the shooting. The outlet was also forced to edit its initial article about the shooting, changing the headline from extolling the virtues of the police officer who killed the “shooter” to acknowledging the officer’s error.
Bradford joins a growing list of Black men, including Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who have been shot by the police while armed, despite having committed no crime.