I need to tell you about two very important runoff elections and two horrible cases of police violence where we are calling for justice.
First, as you may have seen this weekend right outside of Birmingham, Alabama, a brilliant young brother named EJ Bradford, Jr, was shot and killed by police at a shopping mall on Black Friday. For nearly 24 hours, police lied and said that EJ, a military veteran who has never been in trouble a day in his life, police lied and said he was a mass shooter at the mall. EJ’s family and friends literally learned of his death when his face started being plastered all of the television and internet as the mass shooter who had been killed by police.
Right away, thousands of people who knew EJ and his family knew this was a lie. In fact, I started getting phone calls and emails soon after the shooting from people saying they knew that EJ couldn’t have and wouldn’t have shot anyone at a shopping mall.
And sure enough, 24 hours after they literally called their officer a hero for murdering EJ, the Hoover Police Department announced that EJ was not the shooter, that he never fired a single bullet, and that the shooter was actually still on the loose. It appears EJ, who legally owned his gun, and had a license to carry it, was actually trying to help.
I feel like a broken record because just two weeks ago I was right here on the show with this same story about Jemel Roberson, another Black man trying to help after a mass shooting, who was shot and killed by police. We’re demanding that the Galleria Mall and Hoover Police Department release all of their evidence and videos from the mall clearing EJ’s name.
I can’t talk about this next case for long, but just yesterday I release a video of a police shooting from Milwaukee of a young brother named Jerry Smith, Jr. Thank God Jerry survived the shooting, but he is paralyzed from the waist down. The video is one of the most outrageous police violence videos I’ve ever seen. First off, Jerry was unarmed and non-violent and completely compliant. He puts his hands up, as the police requested, then then begins to get on the ground, just as they requested, and the moment he started to get on the ground police unloaded their guns into him. He didn’t reach anywhere. Nothing. And it’s all right there on film.
It’s an open and shut case of police misconduct, but This is America, and nothing is open and shut when it comes to police brutality in this country. Somehow, the District Attorney of Milwaukee said that the shooting was justified. I don’t know why anything surprises me anymore, but this literally might be the least justified police shooting I’ve ever seen. And Milwaukee is supposed to have a good DA.
I don’t have long, but I want to encourage all of our listeners in Mississippi to get out and vote for our main man Mike Espy today. Polls are already opening in some places across the state and we need Mike in the Senate. Not only is Mike a great guy, and a former leader in the Obama administration, he’s running against an open bigot and white supremacist. Our nation should be ashamed of itself for even allowing Cindy Hyde Smith to get this far. With every single day that passes we learn more and more about just how bigoted she truly is.
And I want to close this morning by encouraging all of our listeners in Georgia to get out and vote today. Early voting started yesterday, and goes every day this week, and you have a chance to make a real change in the way elections are overseen and managed there, because the race for the Secretary of State of Georgia is in a runoff. The Democrat running there, John Barrow, is going to protect Georgia’s voters, open more polling locations, and go out of his way to make it easier for every person to vote, and for every vote to count.
I almost feel dumb saying these things because that shouldn’t even be a partisan issue, but it clearly is. Republicans are the party of voter suppression. All over this nation they want to make it more and more difficult for Black voters and Latino voters and immigrant voters and young voters to vote – putting more and more restrictions on the process and John Barrow is going to change that in Georgia.
And here’s the thing -this is an election we can win – because it’s flying under the radar.