Attorneys for the family of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford appeared to make some promising strides behind the scenes this week as authorities continue to investigate the police shooting that killed the Army veteran in Alabama on Thanksgiving night. They reportedly met with the law enforcement group overseeing the investigation on Friday, one day after being shown a portion of the surveillance video footage of the 21-year-old Black man being killed by police as officers responded to a shooting at the Riverside Galleria in Hoover on Thanksgiving night.
But many other questions lingered from the deadly episode where law enforcement’s missteps prompted a call for an independent investigation in order to achieve justice.
If there was any potential silver lining for Bradford’s family, it was that two top prosecutors involved with the investigation are African-Americans. Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr and Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington, who may have a deeper level of understanding and empathy surrounding the shooting and its heavy racial implications, invited Bradford’s family lawyers to see the video Thursday, they told AL.com.
“It was a courtesy to the family and the lawyers,” Carr said. “But also, because we believe in total transparency for this process.”
Hoover is located in Jefferson County.
Details of the video were not immediately available, but at least one civil rights organization was demanding an independent investigation as well as a criminal probe by federal authorities for a number of reasons.
“On behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), I write to you with urgency to request an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of Emantic “E.J.” Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. on Thanksgiving night, November 22, 2018, by a Hoover Police Department (HPD) officer,” LDF President and Director Counsel Sherrilyn A. Ifill wrote Thursday in a letter addressed to U.S. States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay E. Town.
Bradford family lawyer Benjamin Crump on Monday released the results of an independent autopsy showing the Army veteran was shot three times from behind, including once in the head and once in the neck.
“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. The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head. The manner of death is homicide,” Crump, who was joined by Bradford’s father at the press conference in Birmingham, said.
“My son was murdered by this officer,” Emantic Bradford, Sr., said in no uncertain terms during a press conference in Birmingham on Monday. “That ain’t training. That’s cowardice.”
Bradford was killed in the chaotic aftermath of the mall shooting when an officer reportedly fired at him on sight, fatally striking him. Authorities immediately announced Bradford was the mall shooter before admitting the avoidable error. At the time when he was killed, Bradford was reportedly brandishing a gun that he was licensed to carry and was helping others to escape the shooting. It turned out that Bradford’s gun was not fired. After Hoover police flubbed, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency took over the investigation and arrested the actual suspect one week after Bradford was killed.
Ifill cited those findings along with how Hoover police bungled the early part of the investigation as further reasons why independent probes were merited.
“The HPD’s initial investigation of that critical incident was riddled with errors, and the release of Mr. Bradford’s autopsy findings on December 3 raises additional questions about the conduct of Hoover police officers that demand answers. Accordingly, we request that you conduct a separate criminal investigation into this matter and consider any credible evidence of Hoover officers’ willful deprivation of civil rights, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242, to determine whether further federal action is necessary,” Ifill wrote.
62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Eric Logan, 541 of 62
2. Jamarion Robinson, 262 of 62
3. Gregory Hill Jr., 303 of 62
4. JaQuavion Slaton, 204 of 62
5. Ryan Twyman, 245 of 62
6. Brandon Webber, 206 of 62
7. Jimmy Atchison, 217 of 62
8. Willie McCoy, 208 of 62
9. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 219 of 62
10. D’ettrick Griffin, 1810 of 62
11. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 11 of 62
12. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 12 of 62
13. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 13 of 62
14. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 14 of 62
15. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 15 of 62
16. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 16 of 62
17. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 17 of 62
18. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 18 of 62
19. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 19 of 62
20. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 20 of 62
21. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 21 of 62
22. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 22 of 62
23. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 23 of 62
24. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 62
25. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 25 of 62
26. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 26 of 62
27. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 27 of 62
28. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 28 of 62
29. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 29 of 62
30. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 30 of 62
31. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 31 of 62
32. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 32 of 62
33. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 33 of 62
34. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 34 of 62
35. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 35 of 62
36. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 36 of 62
37. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 37 of 62
38. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 38 of 62
39. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 39 of 62
40. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 40 of 62
41. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 41 of 62
42. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 42 of 62
43. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 43 of 62
44. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 44 of 62
45. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 45 of 62
46. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 46 of 62
47. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 47 of 62
48. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 48 of 62
49. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 49 of 62
50. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 50 of 62
51. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 51 of 62
52. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 52 of 62
53. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 53 of 62
54. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 54 of 62
55. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 55 of 62
56. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 56 of 62
57. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 57 of 62
58. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 58 of 62
59. Patrick Harmon, 5059 of 62
60. Jonathan Hart, 2160 of 62
61. Maurice Granton, 2461 of 62
EJ Bradford’s Family Lawyers Make Progress In Shooting Investigation As Questions Linger was originally published on newsone.com