Emantic “E.J.” Bradford had a concealed carry permit for the gun he carried for self-protection. But that didn’t matter when he went out, like many Americans do regularly, to a local mall. His day, and life, would end in a police shooting in Alabama’s Riverchase Galleria Mall, because he was mistaken for a gunman and not a Good Samaritan.
Last Thanksgiving, a man later arrested and identified as Erron Brown, opened fire in a crowded mall. Bradford is believed to have drawn his weapon to stop the shooter. Unfortunately, police who arrived to the scene shot Bradford instead and the Brown initially escaped.
Although he had enlisted in the military, Bradford had never served, but had a concealed carry permit. His family says he was working full-time and caring for his father who was stricken with cancer.
Alabama’s attorney general declined to file charges, characterizing the case as a tragic mistake. Bradford’s family think otherwise and seek justice for their son. They announced a lawsuit this week.
The lawsuit was filed in the Birmingham division of Jefferson County on Monday by Bradford’s parents and their attorney Benjamin Crump, the ACLU of Alabama, and the Alabama NAACP. According to the lawsuit, the family is demanding release of all police body camera and surveillance footage of the incident, and of documents including the officers’ names.
Bradford was fatally shot by a Hoover police officer after shots rang out in the Riverchase Galleria mall on Thanksgiving night. Brian Wilson, 18, and a 12-year-old bystander were injured in the incident, and police who responded shot 21-year-old Bradford. The day after the shooting, police said Bradford was likely not the person who fired the shots that injured the other two.
Representatives from Marshall’s office met with the Bradford family and their attorney in February and told them the Hoover officer was justifiedin the shooting and he would not be criminally charged. Marshall also shared a report with information from the more than two-month investigation.
Hoover police have not released the officer’s name and his attorney told AL.com neither he nor the officer will be releasing any statement about the shooting.
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