HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - One year ago on November 22, 2018, a Hoover Police officer shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Bradford, Jr. inside the Riverchase Galleria. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called the shooting justified.
Bradford, Jr.’s parents marked the anniversary Friday by filing a federal lawsuit against the unnamed officer who shot Bradford and the city of Hoover.
EJ Bradford’s family stood by their attorney, civil rights attorney Ben Crump of Florida. Bradford’s mother says the family is still hurting, but they have not forgotten their son. “This lawsuit is to bring change. To bring change so no other mother or father has to go through this,” said April Pipkins.
The shooting still torments Bradford, Jr.’s father. “I’m going to say this to the whole city of Hoover, the whole city council. All of you have blood on your hands,” Emantic Bradford, Sr. said.
Bradford, Jr. was running in the mall with a gun drawn. New family attorney Devon Jacob, a former police officer and now civil rights lawyer, said he had a constitutional right to protect himself and others from harm.
“EJ lawfully withdrew his weapon to protect somebody at the Galleria and was immediately gunned down for doing so,” Jacobs said.
Jacob was critical of the Hoover Police Department’s policies. Crump says the officer had other options. “If you had time to evaluate the matter, you had time to say freeze, police, stop, drop your weapon. He could have done any number of things,” Crump said.
City of Hoover attorney Phillip Corley calls these false allegations. In a statement, he writes, “After all evidence is presented, no wrongdoing by the city or any of our officers will be shown,” Corley said.
Corley also wrote the city has not turned over all evidence in the matter due to the criminal investigation involving the man who fired the first shot at the Galleria, Erron Brown.
The family wants money for Bradford, Jr.’s death and new policies within the Hoover Police Department.