BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The family of the man fatally shot by Hoover police on Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria Mall is suing the Alabama Attorney General for body cam footage, surveillance video and documents identifying the officers involved in the shooting.
In early February, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office announced the end to its investigation. They said the Hoover police officer who shot and killed Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. was justified and that officer acted within police policy.
“It’s ludicrous and insulting that the state of Alabama thinks we should simply take their word about what happened, without letting us see the full and unedited video footage and without releasing the officer’s name who killed E.J.,” attorney Ben Crump said in the news release. “In a state with the racial history of Alabama, why would anyone believe their account of a white officer shooting a Black man, especially when they’re trying to hide some of the evidence? It’s so unfortunate they have left us with no choice but to sue for video they don’t want us to see and for the name of the officer to be released.”
EJ Bradford's parents, Crump, the ACLU of Alabama and the Alabama NAACP are all a part of the lawsuit. Included in a news release, Bradford Sr. said the state owes him the evidence.
“First they killed my son, then they gave us some ridiculous explanation, now they want us to trust their version of what happened," Bradford said. "That is simply not going to happen. They owe me so much in exchange for my son’s life, and at the very least they owe me the truth. It appears the state of Alabama has no shame, and if they are not going to turn over the video and release the name of the officer who killed E.J., we’re going to have to get a court order to make them.”
On Dec. 13, Marshall announced his office was taking over the investigation into the fatal shooting of Bradford from District Attorney Danny Carr. Marshall said at the time the move would prevent any sort of potential conflict for elected officials.
“The NAACP is very disappointed in how the Attorney General Marshall took the case away from the first African-American district attorney in Jefferson County, who would have had jurisdiction over the case,” said Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama NAACP. “Danny Carr was elected by the people of Jefferson County and he should have been given the opportunity to do his job. Now, much of the crucial evidence is being withheld from the public, and most importantly it’s being withheld from E.J.’s Family.”
WHNT News 19 reached out to the attorney general's office to get their side of this situation. They said they are preparing a statement which they will release in court. They provided no further comment.