Officer Involved In Shooting Death Of Black Man In Alabama Mall On Thanksgiving Night To Face No Charges
A police officer who shot a Black man three times at an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving night will face no criminal charges in his death.
As Blavity previously reported, 21-year-old Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. was shot and killed by an unnamed deputy on November 22, 2018. The incident occurred at the Riverchase Galleria Mall, just south of Birmingham. Initially, deputies at the Hoover Police Department identified Bradford as the assailant. However, as the investigation continued, they recanted those claims and admitted the young man didn't shoot anyone.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Alabama Attorney General (AG) Steve Marshall determined that the officer who murdered Bradford "did not commit a crime." He also announced the deputy would not face any civil rights infringements. In his report, Marshall refused to disclose the official's name, only referring to him as Officer 1.
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"Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall today informed the Hoover Police Department and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation that he has concluded that the Hoover police officer who shot and killed Emantic 'E.J.' Bradford Jr. at the Riverchase Galleria mall on November 22, 2018, did not commit a crime under Alabama law and thus will not be criminally charged for his actions," Marshall's statement read. "The Attorney General further noted that it was his understanding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had reviewed the matter and found no evidence to initiate a case against the officer for civil rights violation(s)."
As he concluded his statement, Attorney General Marshall also mentioned he showed surveillance footage of that fatal night to Bradford's family and legal team.
The Birmingham News writes Bradford's family was informed of the final decision Tuesday morning when they met with representatives from Marshall's office. In response to the AG's report, EJ's father, Emantic Bradford Sr., expressed anger over the findings and argued his son's death was a homicide.
"My son was murdered. And you think I'm going to let it go?" Emantic Bradford Sr. said at a press conference following the meeting. "That was a homicide… you killed my son. You are a coward. You’re a coward too, Steve Marshall."
EJ's mother, April Pipkins, echoed his sentiments. "Attorney [Marshall], I want to know, if that was your child would you consider this justice?" she asked. "Would anyone consider this justice? You shoot my child three times, and you call this justice."
Following the family's news conference, protestors gathered outside of Hoover City Hall on Tuesday to show their dissatisfaction with the decision. American flags defaced with the words "BLACK LIVES DON'T MATTER" were set on fire as police officers observed from afar.
Protesters spray paint "Black Lives Don't Matter" on two American flags then burn them in front of Hoover City Hall pic.twitter.com/cvJeAqr7cS— WVTM 13 (@WVTM13) February 6, 2019'
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