An Alabama police officer who shot and killed a man misidentified as a shooting suspect in a Hoover mall last year will not be criminally charged.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday released a 24-page report concluding the investigation of the Thanksgiving night Riverchase Galleria shooting in which a Hoover police officer fatally shot Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr. Marshall's report finds that the unnamed officer "reasonably" exercised his official duties in a five-second encounter in which he shot and killed Bradford when responding to gunfire at about 9:51 p.m. on Nov. 22. Two officers responded to an initial shooting that injured 18-year-old Brian Wilson and a 12-year-old bystander. The attorney general's report concludes the first officer fired his gun four times. Three bullets struck Bradford in the neck and lower back. The remaining bullet, "or at least a large fragment" of it, hit a pillar near Bradford. Investigators say the fourth bullet did not strike the 12-year-old. Hoover police initially misidentified 21-year-old Bradford as the gunman, but later said he was likely not the shooter. Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, was arrested in Atlanta on Nov. 29 and charged with attempted murder in Wilson's shooting. But investigators said Bradford did have a gun, though he never fired it, according to the report. Marshall's report finds that the officer's mistake in identifying Bradford as the shooter does not mean he acted unreasonably or criminally. The Alabama NAACP and ACLU say EJ Bradford should still be alive. But he isn't. The Attorney General released a report one week ago, calling his death "justified." However, there is still much that we the public do not know. The public, and Bradford's family, deserve to know more information about the Hoover Police Department's policies and practices. The ACLU of Alabama and Alabama NAACP have asked the department to release their use-of-force policies, body cam policies, and racial bias training materials. We've filed three requests and, so far, we have heard no response from the Hoover Police Department. Take action now and tell the Hoover PD to release the documents.Bradford This information should be public record, and easily accessible to any person upon request. Refusing to disclose these policies deepens distrust of law enforcement, whereas releasing the policies will help demonstrate whether this shooting followed policy and whether the policy was appropriate and fair. The department’s silence is deafening. In addition to the actions of the Alabama NAACP and ACLU, local community leaders in Hoover and Birmingham have called for a boycott of the Galleria Mall and other merchants in Hoover until the City Police and Administration release the full video tapes of the incident and their full policies. The community is also protesting the Alabama Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the police that shot E. J. Bradford. • America watching as top three Virginia officials are embroiled in controversy