JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. – A Hoover police officer was justified in shooting Emantic Bradford Jr. at the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night, state officials said Tuesday.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a report after a more than two-month investigation into Bradford’s death, as well as the gunfire that wounded an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old bystander moments before Hoover police killed Bradford.
Marshall said his investigation determined the officer who killed Bradford did not commit a crime and would not be charged. The FBI also investigated and found no evidence that the officer should be charged with any civil rights violations, he said.
Video of Bradford’s shooting was shown to his parents and attorneys Tuesday morning, Marshall’s office said.
Video from mall surveillance shows Erron Brown shoot one of the victims, 18-year-old Brian Wilson, and then run into J.C. Penney, according to the report. Bradford initially ran away from the gunshots, drew his gun and then turned and ran back toward where Brown ran, the report says. The officer shot Bradford as Bradford ran toward where the gunshots occurred, hitting him in the head, the report said.
Brown was charged with attempted murder for shooting Wilson.
The officer’s written report states he shot to stop Bradford as he ran toward Wilson and another person who was helping him. In the statement, the officer also wrote that he understood from asking the bystander who helped Wilson that Bradford was the shooter. A second officer who was on the scene said he also believed he heard the man who helped Wilson identify Bradford as Wilson’s shooter.
The officer said he did not have time to turn on his body camera after hearing the initial gunshots.
On Tuesday, Bradford family attorney Ben Crump said the AG’s report amounted to a coverup for a murder.
“This attorney general orchestrated taking this case from the first elected black district attorney so he could cover up for this white police officer shooting a man in the back running away,” Crump said. Jefferson County Danny Carr became the first black DA for the county in the 2018 election.
Crump said the family is planning a civil lawsuit.