On Thanksgiving night, Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr was shot to death by a Hoover police officer working security at an Alabama mall.
On Thanksgiving night, at 9:52 p.m. police officers received a report of gunshots being fired on the second floor of the mall. Police officers responded and found an eighteen year old man and a twelve year old girl with gunshot wounds. The eighteen year old was rushed to a trauma center in very critical condition. The twelve year old was rushed to a children’s hospital, and has since been released.
At 10:11 p.m. a police officer saw Emantic Bradford Jr outside the mall. Emantic had a concealed handgun license, and had his firearm concealed in his waistband at the time. The police officer, who’s name has not been released, shot and killed Emantic in the parking lot.
Speaking to reporters outside the mall, police said Bradford shot a teenager during a fight near the food court, and brandished his firearm at the uniformed officer who killed him. The Hoover police department have changed their story multiple times after the shooting. On Friday morning, police said the suspect was shot and killed. Later that day, police said Bradford probably was not the shooter.
On Monday the police department issued a statement saying, “ We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun.” Later that morning the police made another statement, “Earlier, we stated that Mr. Bradford ‘brandished’ a gun. To clarify, the word ‘brandish’ was used because Mr. Bradford had a gun in his hand as police officers responded to the active shooter situation between mall patrons.” The word “brandish”, according to most definitions, means to wave or show a weapon in an aggressive or menacing way. Bradford was actually trying to help people to safety when he was shot, said his family’s attorney, Ben Crump.
Hoover police have not apologized to the Bradford family, or answered their questions. Bradford’s family says Bradford was the victim of racial profiling. His mother, April Pipkins, said, “ If anything, he was trying to protect others from the active shooter.” Bradford’s family is demanding transparency in the investigation, including the release of any video. The family has also asked for city officials to apologize for mistakenly identifying Bradford as a shooter. Bradford had no criminal history, and was honorably discharged from the army.
On the Saturday following the shooting, protesters stopped traffic on Highway 31, then marched down to the mall. The protest began outside Hoover City Hall around six p.m. and continued down to the mall, where Bradford was shot. The protesters gathered to say they want to hold law enforcement to a higher standard. Activist Carlos Chaverst Jr said, “This is just one step in the process to bring attention to these issues.”
After a week long manhunt, authorities have located and arrested the gunman. Erron Brown, 20, was arrested Thursday at a relative’s home in South Fulton, Georgia, Marshals supervisor Frank Lempka said. They received a tip of his location and got a warrant for his arrest. Brown, 20, of Bessemer, Alabama, was taken to the Fulton County Jail. Brown faces one count of attempted murder.
by Kevin Gianni