The Slatest

Protests Break Out After Police Admit Man Killed by Officer in Alabama Mall Wasn’t Gunman

Protesters gather at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama on Nov. 24, 2018.
Protesters gather at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, on Saturday.
Screenshot/WBMA

Dozens of protesters gathered at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, Saturday afternoon to call for a boycott and protest the officer-involved killing of a man at that mall on Thanksgiving night. On Thursday night, Hoover police shot and killed Emantic “E.J.” Bradford, thinking he was the one who shot and injured an 18-year-old man during an argument. A 12-year-old girl was also injured. Turns out, Bradford, 21, was likely not the shooter. Those who knew him immediately questioned the veracity of the police version of events saying that Bradford, who had enlisted in the U.S. Army, would not have shot anyone during an argument.

Bradford was at the mall but was fleeing the shooting like everyone else. And like many around him, he was brandishing a handgun. But now officers are increasingly convinced he likely was not the one who fired the shots that injured the 18- and 12-year-olds. “Over the past 20 hours, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians have interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical evidentiary items,’’ Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said. “New evidence now suggests that while Mr. Bradford may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim. “

Bradford’s family has retained Ben Crump, a national civil rights attorney. Crump has previously represented the family of Michael Brown, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Florida by George Zimmerman.