Officer-involved shooting victim’s family calls on AG’s office to allow local DA to handle case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The family of a man shot by police during an altercation at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover on Thanksgiving are speaking out against the Alabama attorney general taking over the investigation.

Activists have called for transparency in the investigation in the days since the shooting. The City of Hoover and the Hoover Police Department had been issuing weekly updates on the case throughout the investigation however, there was no update issued Monday.

The City and Hoover Police also haven't named the officer who they said shot and killed Bradford. Officials said that officer is involved in around 20 pending cases.

On Monday, Bradford's family, along with their attorney Benjamin Crump, gathered in front of attorneys to publicly declare their opposition to the news Attorney General Steve Marshall's Office is handling the prosecution into the crimes that ultimately led to Bradford's death.

Late last week, the attorney general's office asked Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr to recuse himself from the prosecution. Attorney General Steve Marshall said national standards mandated Carr recuse himself because people might think he is biased.

Crump, on behalf of the family, is asking Marshall to turn the case over to the district attorney for the Bessemer portion of Jefferson County. Both district attorneys representing the county are African-Americans, and the Bradford family believes it's important to have a member of the black community overseeing this case.

The family said they worry the AG's office will be unfairly sympathetic to the Hoover Police Department. During the news conference, the family and their attorney said numerous times that DA Carr was elected by the people, so he should get to handle this investigation.

They also urged authorities to show the body cam footage in its entirety for everyone.

"What was in that video is consistent with our findings in the independent anatomical review that shows he was shot in the back of his head, the back of his neck, and his lower back," Crump said.

On Thursday, Marshall announced his office was taking over the prosecution in the case involving the Riverchase Galleria shooting from Carr. In a letter to Carr, Marshall explained Carr must recuse himself from the prosecution because people might question his neutrality in the case.

"All the family want is for justice to be served for my son, our son," April Pipkins, Bradford's mother, said. "In taking the case from Mr. Carr, we feel that they are trying to protect this officer who killed my son."

DA Carr won the election for the district attorney's office in November, the same month Marshall was elected to statewide office. Carr is the first African American elected to the position in Jefferson County.

"If not Danny Carr, the family would like him to strongly consider appointing Lynniece Washington, the first Black woman elected district attorney of the Bessemer Cut-Off Division of Jefferson County," Crump said. "She doesn't have any alleged conflict of interest. The family has great trust that she will be unbiased."

WHNT News 19 reached out to the attorney general's office for comment, and received a statement from the office:

"As the written correspondence reflects, Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr directly conveyed to Attorney General Marshall the presence of Carr's perceived conflicts in this matter. Attorney General Marshall acted on standard procedure to assume prosecution. The Attorney General’s Office will ensure that the Hoover mall shooting cases are handled with the highest degree of fairness and professionalism as we pursue justice for all parties."

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