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.
58 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Ryan Twyman, 241 of 58
2. Brandon Webber, 202 of 58
3. Jimmy Atchison, 213 of 58
4. Willie McCoy, 204 of 58
5. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 215 of 58
6. D’ettrick Griffin, 186 of 58
7. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 7 of 58
8. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 8 of 58
9. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 9 of 58
10. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 10 of 58
11. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 11 of 58
12. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 12 of 58
13. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 13 of 58
14. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 14 of 58
15. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 15 of 58
16. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 16 of 58
17. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 17 of 58
18. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 18 of 58
19. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 19 of 58
20. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 20 of 58
21. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 21 of 58
22. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 22 of 58
23. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 23 of 58
24. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 58
25. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 25 of 58
26. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 26 of 58
27. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 27 of 58
28. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 28 of 58
29. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 29 of 58
30. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 30 of 58
31. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 31 of 58
32. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 32 of 58
33. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 33 of 58
34. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 34 of 58
35. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 35 of 58
36. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 36 of 58
37. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 37 of 58
38. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 38 of 58
39. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 39 of 58
40. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 40 of 58
41. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 41 of 58
42. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 42 of 58
43. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 43 of 58
44. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 44 of 58
45. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 45 of 58
46. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 46 of 58
47. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 47 of 58
48. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 48 of 58
49. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 49 of 58
50. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 50 of 58
51. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 51 of 58
52. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 52 of 58
53. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 53 of 58
54. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 54 of 58
55. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 55 of 58
56. Patrick Harmon, 5056 of 58
57. Jonathan Hart, 2157 of 58
58. Maurice Granton, 2458 of 58
EJ Bradford’s Family Lawyers Make Progress In Shooting Investigation As Questions Linger was originally published on newsone.com