HOOVER, Ala. – Activists gathered at the Hoover Police Department Thursday to demand action from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Two days ago 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.
No charges will be filed and the officers name will not be released. Marshall’s office also released surveillance footage from inside the mall on the night the shooting happened. The findings from the attorney general’s office sparked protests.
The first night people took to the streets to burn flags with “black lives matter” written on them. And Wednesday demonstrators gathered outside Marshall’s office in Montgomery expressing their outrage. Two people were arrested.
Still people have not stopped pushing Marshall on the issue. Thursday, the Alabama NAACP and ACLU held a press conference outlining what they want from him.
Immediately after the decision was announced on Tuesday, EJ Bradford’s parents said they were not satisfied with Marshall’s decision or the lack of information in the report. The family attorney said they were considering a wrongful death lawsuit.
Today, the fallout continues as the NAACP and the Alabama ACLU says the report has left them with unanswered questions. They want more information and more action.
The Alabama ACLU and NAACP joined together to publicly air their dissatisfaction and concerns. They said they want the attorney general’s office to publicly release all police body camera footage and surveillance video from the fatal incident. Though the Marshall’s office has released some footage, they believe there is more.
Dillon Nettles from the Alabama ACLU said, “Disclosing the request and information will demonstrate if this shooting followed policy and if the policy was appropriate and fair. Today, we plan to deliver a third and final request to Hoover Police Department demanding release of those records by next Friday. And if we won’t receive those, then they will receive a lawsuit.”
They want the police department’s policies made public on use of force and body camera use as well as what training officers receive on racial bias.
The two organizations want Marshall to meet with the public and explain how he came to this decision.
Bernard Simelton called the incident part of an epidemic.
“You put resources towards that epidemic to try and eliminate it,” Simelton said. “I’m telling you today that there is an epidemic with young black African American men being killed by police officers.”
The groups also said they want the resignation of the officer who fired the fatal shot. They called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Hoover mall shooting and other cases where police killed African American males.
Lawyers for Bradford’s family say this is “A cut and dry case where the police officer should have been held accountable for the killing of an innocent man.”