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HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The mayor of an Alabama city offered sympathy Monday to the family of a black man killed by a police officer responding to a Thanksgiving night shooting at a shopping mall.

“We all want answers and we believe with patience and focus the truth will be firmly established,” Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said while reading a public statement in which he pleaded for patience while a state investigation continues.

The shooting of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., 21, sparked multiple protests in the suburban city outside Birmingham and calls to publically release body camera footage and other video.

An officer killed Bradford while responding to the report of a shooting that wounded two people at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham. Hoover police initially portrayed Bradford as the mall gunman and said officers acted heroically to “take out the threat” within seconds of shots being fired in the crowded mall.

They later retracted the statement, and said while Bradford was seen with a handgun, evidence indicates he was not the person who shot an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old bystander. Authorities say the actual gunman remains at large.

A lawyer for Bradford’s family said witnesses have contacted his law firm saying Bradford was trying to “wave people away from the shooting” and the officer did not issue any verbal commands before shooting the 21-year-old.

“He saw a black man with a gun and he made his determination he must be a criminal,” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Bradford’s family said of the officer at a news conference Sunday in Birmingham.

Responding to building tensions, police and the city of Hoover on Monday offered public sympathy to the Bradford family and issued more detailed statements about the shooting and the investigation.

“We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” the statement said. They later clarified the use of the verb “brandished” saying it meant Bradford was holding a gun.

Bradford’s father and other family members said they want to see body camera video from the shooting. Family members expressed frustration and anger that the young man was initially described as a gunman who shot two people.

“I knew my son didn’t do that. People rushed to judgment. They shouldn’t have done that,” Emantic Bradford, Sr. told The Associated Press.

Hoover police said Monday that “body camera video and other available video has been turned over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) which is now investigating the shooting. “Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation,” the statement added.

The mayor said he is requesting a meeting with the Bradford family. Family members have said they learned through social media of their loved one’s death. Video circulated on social media of Bradford lying uncovered in a pool of blood on the floor of the mall.

Bradford’s father, a former longtime employee of the Birmingham Police Department jail, said his son had a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which issues concealed carry permits, referred questions to ALEA on whether Bradford had a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

Bradford was a graduate of a Catholic high school in Birmingham and afterward joined the U.S. Army, although he had recently left the military, family said.

A U.S. Army spokesman said that Bradford, Jr. reported to the Army for initial entry training in November 2017 but “was administratively separated in August 2018 before completing training” and being awarded a specialty certification.

The shooting sparked a weekend protest at the mall, with demonstrators chanting Bradford’s name as they walked past Christmas shoppers to the spot where he was killed. A group of pastors on Monday joined the called for police to release additional information.

“His mother deserves answers. The community deserves answers,” said the Rev. Nate Brooks of the Greater Saint John Baptist Church in Birmingham.

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15 thoughts on “Mayor Calls For Patience In Alabama Mall Police Shooting Of Wrong Man

  1. Mac Daddy on said:

    Having a concealed carry permit does not allow you to brandish a gun in a public mall. That was illegal. Let the facts come out before jumping to conclusions. We need more information why Bradford was dishonorably discharged from the military in less than a year. My bet it was for a violation of firearms protocol. My prayers to his family. We just gotta do better Peeps

    • I agree I have a concealed weapon permits I would only pull my weapon if my life was in danger We as black people get treated different by cops. So were a white person might get a minute to explain we know we won’t. Knowing how the world we live in is he should have know better.

  2. Christianforreal on said:

    Chad and Mac, what the hell difference does it make why he was discharged from military service? It probably was not for a ‘good’ reason, but it had nothing to do with the shooting that happened at the mall on Thursday. And there is a great difference in brandishing and holding!! I too wonder why he had his gun in his hand, but was he holding it or brandishing it. Hold is to brandish as sit is to swing. Big difference. And why is it that the police CAN NOT deescalate a situation involving black people, but can with whites???

    • FakeChristian, if Bradford was discharged for mental health issues, that could have very well played a role in the mall shooting. You and houseboy Ted will defend irrational, criminal behavior at all costs. Well guess what, there is a huge cost

      • QwibblesnHips on said:

        So we are now asking about his military history as if that played a role in why he was killed? Did the officer who shot need that information before pulling the trigger? I’m confused why his history matters or is this a justification for the fact that he was killed? If he had a permit to carry concealed, then what? You guys are full of poopoo.

      • Mac Daddy on said:

        QuibblesDipShit, if this playa was dishonorably discharged for a severe mental disorder, that is extremely relavent to the mall incident. Led me clarify this for the last time for the galactically stupid, owning a carry permit does NOT allow you to deploy your weapon in a crowded mall. Only a mentally disturbed person would do this. See how it all ties together. Damm Peeps, wonder sometimes why I waste my breath

  3. Honestly on said:

    The savages with badges are lying. This kid was murdered just like Walter Scott in South Carolina. This is why blue thugs are being gunned down across the country, distrust!!

  4. Ted Gravely on said:

    Let’s quickly translate what this trickster Mayor is saying, “we need more time to perfect our lie.” They lied initially when they said this young man was the one who did the shooting and their chicken crap Officer was a hero. Oops that was a lie. Now they are trying to taint the dead victim. What does this young man’s administrative military separation have to do with this incident? An administrative separation is a myriad of things; presence of pre-existing physical or mental condition that limits the ability to continue to serve, drug abuse, minor disciplinary infraction, failure to meet weight or physical standards, ect….. Once again, the gang members in blue trying to cover up killing an innocent young man. Bradford Jr., probably heard the shooting and pulled out his weapon to protect himself (as is his right). Our trained gang members got it wrong again and another man died. Stop covering for these criminals in blue. These racists like the coons and bots on this site are like termites. Good for nothing but destruction.

  5. People who’ve never had to wait for justice, should never throw the word “Patience” around so casually. Not when you have a loved one, laying in a funeral home waiting to be buried.

  6. Mac Daddy on said:

    Having a concealed carry permit does not allow you to brandish a gun in a public mall. That was illegal. Let the facts come out before jumping to conclusions. We need more information why Bradford was dishonorably discharged from the military in less than a year. My bet it was for a violation of firearms protocol. My prayers to his family

    • Normally I’d tell you to flip off Mac, but I also am suspicious about being “administratively separated “ from service in 9 months. Something ain’t right there. Any military member have insight?

    • QwibblesnHips on said:

      Didn’t they change the word brandish and, if so, why are you still using it? Does illegal now mean death on sight and, if so, in what state? If there was an active shooting, isn’t it reasonable to expect that people who are legally carrying will then react by possibly pulling out there own gun? I mean, why else would you have a gun right?

      • The problem is if all the legal gun owners are holding/brandishing guns at the scene of a shooting in a crowded area, how are the police supposed the distinguish the difference between them and the outlaws? Do they wait and see who’s shooting who? Do they go up to the gun brandishers one by one and ask who’s who while the shooting continues? Armchair quarterbacks always know how to win the game-until you put them on the field. If the police had hesitated and this young man killed someone, they would be blamed for not doing their jobs. You expect them to run into an active shooter situation, encounter a gun-wielding man, and take the time to decide whether on not he may be the shooter? Sounds idiotic when you say it out loud. Trust me.

      • Mac Daddy on said:

        Kates, that is real talk right there. Going these hack armchair QB’s up here like Ted, “lemme translate for you”. This fool pulling out a fun like he Deputy Dog. Of course it matters why he was dishonorably discharged from the military.

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