Montgomery, AL – SOS youth leaders along with other youth leaders from across the state and other leaders held a news conference at the Alabama State House at 10:30 a.m. today calling for continued protests and a boycott of ALL Hoover businesses until Hoover city officials release the complete videotape of the killing of Army Veteran E.J. Bradford and criminally charge the off-duty Hoover police officer with killing Bradford.
Alecha Irby, head of the Youth Committee for the Save OurSelves Movement for Justice and Democracy and a student at Miles Law School, organized the Montgomery press conference to draw greater attention to the ongoing injustices taking place in Jefferson County. Irby said, “Twenty-one-year-old E.J. Bradford was shot and killed at the Galleria on November 22nd, and the Hoover police still have not released the full video of the killing. They have selectively chosen to release a 30-second snippet of the video, but their refusal to release the entire footage is more telling than the tiny segment they did release.”
An off-duty Hoover police officer shot and killed an innocent Army veteran. Hoover officials continue to refuse to release the full video and other critical information. Autopsy details revealed that Mr. Bradford was shot multiple times in the back and in the back of the head. “Officials in Hoover have not taken the first step to arrest the officer for this wrongful killing. Until they release the full tape and arrest the officer for the killing of Mr. Bradford, we are calling on everyone to boycott all businesses in Hoover.”
“Hoover officials have had the opportunity to do what is right and to seek justice for the family of Mr. Bradford. They continue to refuse to do so,” said Carlos Chaverst, Jr., who organized protests in Hoover in the aftermath of the brutal killing of E.J. Bradford. “Nineteen days have passed since the Hoover officer shot and killed Mr. Bradford, and the killer still walks free. We also do not have the full video footage of what took place at the Galleria, and officials have given no justifiable reason for not releasing that footage. We are here today to demand justice for E.J. Bradford, and we will not stop until justice is done,” he said.
“We are calling on a boycott of all Hoover businesses – not only those at the Galleria – until Hoover officials do what is right and just and release the entire video footage and other records related to the case and charge the officer with killing E.J. Bradford. Alabama has been witness to racial injustices throughout its history, and what is taking place in Hoover today is a new Civil Rights Movement,” said Frank Matthews of the Outcast Voters League.
“Some commentators have said just this week that these protests are taking place ‘before anybody really outside of witnesses and law enforcement knows what happened’ and have cited the 30-second video release as if it were a concrete action. If the police would release the full video and other necessary information including witness statements to the public, the police officer who killed Bradford would already be arrested and in custody and the protests and boycott could end. Observations like the one by an Alabama commentator I just referenced only serve to reinforce how little is being done to ensure the right actions are taken and justice is served.”