Bradford family attorney: Private autopsy reveals EJ was shot 3 times, lawyers for Bradford’s family viewed Riverchase Galleria video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Emantic ‘EJ’ Bradford Jr. was shot three times, according to an independent review ordered by EJ’s family.
Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr and Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington confirm lawyers for EJ Bradford’s family saw the Thanksgiving night video from the Galleria around Nov. 29 at ALEA offices. ALEA confirms the meeting, but neither they, Carr nor Washington would discuss video content.
Washington says the public will not see the video without the family having had the opportunity to see it first.
Family attorney Benjamin Crump released the following statement on viewing the video:
“When the family met with members from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the District Attorney’s Office last Friday, the agency and office attempted to build some degree of trust by allowing the family and their attorneys to see a very brief portion of video surrounding the moments EJ Bradford Jr. was shot at the Riverchase Galleria mall. We continued to request that all video footage of the mall from that night be publicly released — body cam, surveillance, etc. We were told, because of the ongoing criminal investigation, that they would not release the video until after they had concluded the criminal investigation. They said the only way they would agree to show us a very brief portion of the video was if we promised to keep it confidential, so as to not interfere with the ongoing investigation. While we are respecting the essence of the agreement to keep the content of the limited video that was viewed confidential, we can confirm that what was viewed is consistent with the findings of the anatomical review released on Dec. 3 and conducted by an independent forensic pathologist who was hired by the family. It should be noted that Bradford did have a gun; the family has been told previously that Bradford’s gun was never fired. It is concluded that Bradford was shot three times from behind as he moved away from the off-duty Hoover police officer who was working as mall security.”
Crump said at a Monday morning press conference that Bradford was shot in the back of the right side of his skull and the bullet exited through his left eye. It initially appeared that he was shot in the face.
The second bullet entered his neck and lodged in his tonsils, according to the report.
The report said the third shot entered the right side of Bradford’s hip area, moving through his hip bone and stopping in his abdominal wall.
The review ruled the manner of Bradford’s death a homicide.
“We believe based on this forensic evidence that this officer should be charged with a crime,” Crump said. “There’s nothing that suggests that EJ was a threat to him.”
“You shot him from the back,” said Emantic Bradford Sr., EJ’s father. “Three times my son was shot. He did not pose a threat to you. You could have taken him down without firing a shot.”
His father, who is a former corrections officer, said that the shooting was poor police training.
“My son was murdered.”
Bradford called for the officer to be arrested.
RAM Consulting performed the preliminary anatomical review, looking at crime scene and autopsy photos. The doctor who performed the review also met with Jefferson County Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Davis.
Crump said that Bradford’s injuries suggest that he was running away from the scene when shot. Witnesses allege that Bradford was trying to help people running from the gunshots.
“All of these shots were potentially kill shots,” Crump said while explaining diagrams of Bradford’s injuries.
Bradford lost all control of his motor skills after the first shot, the doctor who performed the review explained to his family. He fell forward, sustaining serious trauma to the right side of his head.
The City of Hoover issued the following statement following the news conference:
Bradford was shot and killed Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria by a Hoover police officer responding to a fight and another shooting that injured a child and a teenager.
Bradford’s death has sparked days of protests.
Le’Darius Hilliard, President of the Jefferson County Millennial Democrats and 2nd Vice President of the Justice League, released the following statement:
Activists will continue its protest by promoting an economic boycott of the Galleria Mall and all Hoover merchants as well as our demands for justice as it relates to the handling of this case from the shooting of a innocent young black man to a potential cover-up in the police dept.
We are not going to stop. We don’t plan on stopping. We’re going to do whatever we have to do in the name of justice to get justice for the family of Emantic Bradford Jr. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and it is our duty - it’s an obligation to keep fighting for justice in our community.
‘At this point, regression is not an option. We have been left with only the choice of tactful aggression. Perhaps then, the powers that be will feel compelled to honor our request,’ said Teandria Ellis, community activist.
A press conference has been called for 6 p.m. outside the Hoover Police Dept. to address the continual lies and deflection the family and public continue to receive. Also a list of demands will be provided to the Mayor and Chief of Police of the City of Hoover.
ALEA is investigating the shooting.
The Bradford family press conference follows Hoover Police Department’s Monday morning announcement that it will not prematurely release information on the shooting.
Hoover PD Chief Nick Derzis released this statement
“On Saturday, December 1, 2018 ,Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor communicated in writing to Mayor Brocato and myself his agency’s stance on the premature release of any critical information in regards to their investigation. Secretary Taylor reiterated the importance of maintaining the integrity of their investigation. He has specifically asked that we do not release any potential evidence as it may not only jeopardize the integrity of the case, but also complicate or delay their efforts. He was very specific in his request, and a copy of his letter is included with this statement. While we maintain our commitment to be fully transparent during this process, we must respect the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s request for full cooperation and continue to have faith in the judicial process. We want the whole truth, unimpeded and not delayed.”
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