BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An emotional funeral service was held Saturday morning to celebrate the life of Emantic Bradford Jr.
Hundreds gathered at Boutwell Auditorium to remember and honor EJ, 21, and to call for transparency in the investigation into his death Thanksgiving night.
“I miss my baby. And his mama misses him too,” said EJ’s father Emantic Bradford Sr.
“I hear him telling me right now, ‘Daddy it’s going to be alright. We’re going to be alright,'” he said.
EJ’s friends spoke at the funeral and recalled the moment they heard he was killed.
“My brother, my best friend.," said one friend. "I can still feel the chills when I received that phone call. Even with all the pain that’s eating inside of me, I can only smile thinking of the memories.”
But after sharing stories of the past, the topic quickly turned to the present and hopes for the future.
“Even when the cameras are gone, we’re going to fight when this matter becomes less trendy," said Birmingham activist Carlos Chaverst. “We’re going to fight with every single thing in us. We heard your cries.”
And with an arrest now made in the Riverchase Galleria shooting that killed EJ, everyone there, including civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson is eager to know, to see, and to hear what happened.
“Say we will have the tape made public," Rev. Jess Jackson said to the audience as they repeated his words. "We want transparency, not coverup. Tell the whole story. Tell it now. We want justice now.”
Hoover city councilor Derrick Murphy said in a press conference earlier this week that if they don’t receive information from ALEA by Monday at noon, the police chief Nick Derzis will decide whether to release the limited information they have.