Update (December 3, 2018): A private autopsy has determined Emantic Bradford, who was killed by Hoover, Alabama police hunting for a mall shooter, was shot while running away from the police. Bradford was shot once in the head, once in the neck and once in the lower back, according to AL.com.
The examiner found the shot to Bradford's head shot to be the fatal blow, and noted the bullets entered his body at an upward angle. The results were announced at a press conference on Monday morning.
“There is a laceration of the right side of the face at the eyebrow consistent with falling face forward on the right side of the head,” Bradford family attorney Benjamin Crump wrote in a report read at the conference. “The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head. The manner of death is homicide.”
Bradford was allegedly mistaken for a gunman who injured two people at a mall in Hoover. Following his killing, the 21-year-old was named a suspect in the attack, and the officer who killed him was celebrated. The Hoover Police Department later recanted its position on Bradford's involvement. The alleged shooter was arrested a week after Bradford died.
Authorities have refused to release mall surveillance footage until a state investigation is completed, according to the New York Daily News. Bradford’s family is anxiously waiting for that day.
“We are trying very hard to take them at their word," Crump said. "But it’s very difficult for this father and this family after they were lied to before. And so with all the expressions of condolences and sympathy it is still very difficult."
Original: While millions returned home following the annual retail frenzy that is Black Friday, Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr. became another victim of senseless police brutality.
On Thanksgiving night, a gunman opened fire at an Alabama shopping mall. Shortly after, authorities confirmed that 21-year-old E.J. Bradford, the alleged suspect, was killed. Following his death, the officer who fatally shot Bradford was honored for his "heroic" actions, wrote NBC News.
However, authorities quickly retracted the statement after nearly 20 hours of eyewitness interviews revealed that not only was Bradford not the alleged culprit, but the shooter remained at large.
Now, Bradford's family is demanding answers why officers fired at the young man who was legally authorized to carry a firearm.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Bradford's family revealed that police still haven't spoken with them. Not only are they requesting to see body camera footage, but they have also hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to help them seek justice.
"They took my son from me, and my Thanksgiving will never be the same. I will never be able to see my son's face again," April Pipkins, Bradford's mother, somberly said to CNN.
"We don't trust the police department because they've 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.
"It doesn't matter if you're a good guy with a gun; if you're Black, the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later." Crump also told CNN.
Monday morning, the Hoover Police Department issued a statement sending their condolences to Bradford's family.
"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.
As an internal investigation unfolds, body camera and other accompanying video was surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, and the evidence is now with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
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