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.
56 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Jimmy Atchison, 211 of 56
2. Willie McCoy, 202 of 56
3. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 213 of 56
4. D’ettrick Griffin, 184 of 56
5. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 5 of 56
6. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 6 of 56
7. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 7 of 56
8. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 8 of 56
9. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 9 of 56
10. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 10 of 56
11. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 11 of 56
12. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 12 of 56
13. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 13 of 56
14. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 14 of 56
15. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 15 of 56
16. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 16 of 56
17. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 17 of 56
18. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 18 of 56
19. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 19 of 56
20. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 20 of 56
21. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 21 of 56
22. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 22 of 56
23. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 23 of 56
24. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 24 of 56
25. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 25 of 56
26. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 26 of 56
27. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 27 of 56
28. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 28 of 56
29. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 29 of 56
30. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 30 of 56
31. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 31 of 56
32. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 32 of 56
33. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 33 of 56
34. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 34 of 56
35. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 35 of 56
36. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 36 of 56
37. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 37 of 56
38. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 38 of 56
39. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 39 of 56
40. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 40 of 56
41. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 41 of 56
42. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 42 of 56
43. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 43 of 56
44. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 44 of 56
45. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 45 of 56
46. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 46 of 56
47. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 47 of 56
48. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 48 of 56
49. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 49 of 56
50. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 50 of 56
51. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 51 of 56
52. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 52 of 56
53. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 53 of 56
54. Patrick Harmon, 5054 of 56
55. Jonathan Hart, 2155 of 56
56. Maurice Granton, 2456 of 56
EJ Bradford’s Family Lawyers Make Progress In Shooting Investigation As Questions Linger was originally published on newsone.com