BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall ruled Tuesday that the Hoover police officer who shot and killed E.J, Bradford was justified in the Thanksgiving night shooting at the Riverchase Galleria.
In the ruling from AG Marshall: “After an extensive investigation and review, the Attorney General has determined that (the officer) did not commit a crime under Alabama law when he shot and killed E.J. Bradford and thus the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct preclude presentation of this case to a grand jury.”
21-year-old Emantic Bradford, Jr. was shot and killed Thanksgiving night 2018 inside the Riverchase Galleria. Hoover Police initially said Bradford was the gunman who shot 18-year-old Brian Wilson and 12-year-old Molly Davis, but they later said Bradford "likely did not fire the rounds” that hit them.
20-year-old Erron Brown was eventually arrested and charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Wilson. Authorities have not yet determined who shot Davis.
“There’s more to the story than what’s there in the video. We needed to understand what the officers observed & what other witnesses observed," said AG Marshall when speaking about the ruling.
WBRC reached out to Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr about the decision, but he declined to comment. The investigation into the shooting originally fell under Carr’s jurisdiction, but Marshall informed Carr that the Attorney General’s office would assume jurisdiction based on Carr’s admission that the public could perceive a conflict of interest because the officer was involved in 20 cases pending with the District Attorney’s office and DA Carr had a personal relationship with people protesting Bradford’s fatal shooting.
VIDEO: Click here to see the surveillance footage in question. WARNING this link contains graphic content.
Related: Breaking down the AG’s report
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. 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).
Also this morning, the Attorney General’s Office showed surveillance video of the shooting death of E.J. Bradford Jr. to Bradford’s parents and attorneys, who had requested to be shown the video and to have it released to the public.
It is outrageous and beyond comprehension that the Alabama Attorney General has concluded that it was reasonable for a trained law enforcement officer to fatally shoot an innocent civilian, one whose only action was an attempt to help protect the public and whose only ‘crime’ was being black.
Are we to accept that it is reasonable for our law enforcement officers to respond by acting on their inherent biases? In this case, it looks very much like the officer’s reasoning was ‘black man plus gun equals: shoot.’ The Attorney General says no more than 2 seconds elapsed between the time officers engaged EJ Bradford and the time he was gunned down by a police officer, who admitted he provided no verbal warning. Are we also to accept that the officer had no duty to determine what was actually happening, that instead it was fine for him to fire fatal shots with no more than 2 seconds to consider whether it was warranted – especially when there was a second officer who did not shoot?
Until the full video has been released to the public, everyone is subject to the editing bias that the Attorney General’s Office chose to apply in preparing its report. The decision to evade a grand jury mimics the darkens patterns of injustice woven throughout Alabama’s sad history of race relations. From the beginning, this case has been riddled with dubious actions by officials. In December, the Attorney General took this case away from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, the first black person to hold that position, undermining the trust of our community and further proving why we demand transparency from those in power.
The full, unedited video must be released immediately. With this report, the Attorney General is doing everything he can to exonerate the officer’s inexcusable actions, trying to justify the officer’s failure to follow proper procedures – and, more importantly, to ignore the civil rights of an innocent, law-abiding man who happened to be black.
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- TIMELINE: What’s happened so far in the investigation into Emantic Bradford’s shooting death at the Riverchase Galleria
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- Hoover city leaders meet with family of EJ Bradford
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- Mother of man killed in Galleria shooting overcome with emotion at community event
- Family of 18-year-old Galleria shooting victim releases statement
- Hoover City Council meets to discuss possible Galleria shooting lawsuit
- Protesters for Hoover shooting march down Highway 31, end up at Galleria
- Hoover mayor shares statement regarding fatal officer-involved shooting
- 12-year-old injured in Galleria shooting released from hospital
- City of Hoover, police promise transparency in investigation of fatal officer-involved shooting at Riverchase Galleria
- Attorney for Emantic Bradford’s family holds press conference; police say he likely did not fire rounds, gunman remains at large
Related: Timeline of Galleria Shooting