Galleria shooting victim’s parents sue AG, Hoover
Published 1:47 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019
FROM STAFF REPORTS
HOOVER – E.J. Bradford’s parents, Bradford family attorney Ben Crump, the ACLU of Alabama, and Alabama NAACP sued the attorney general of Alabama and the Hoover Police Department for release of body camera footage, surveillance footage, and documents regarding the shooting of E.J. Bradford, including release of the officers’ names.
“First they killed my son, then they gave us some ridiculous explanation, now they want us to trust their version of what happened. That is simply not going to happen,” said Emantic Bradford Sr., E.J.’s father. “They owe me so much in exchange for my son’s life, and at the very least they owe me the truth. It appears the state of Alabama has no shame, and if they are not going to turn over the video and release the name of the officer who killed E.J., we’re going to have to get a court order to make them.”
Marshall and the city of Hoover did not immediately respond to the filing of the lawsuit.
Two shootings occurred inside the mall on Nov. 22, 2018, during a busy post-Thanksgiving shopping period.
At about 9:51 p.m. that day, Erron Brown allegedly shot 18-year-old Brian Wilson twice. About five seconds later, in response to the initial gunshots, a police officer shot and killed Bradford, who was running toward the initial shooter and victim with a firearm visibly in hand.
The officer told investigators he thought Bradford, who on surveillance video appears to chamber a round in his firearm, intended to shoot the victim of the initial shooting, who lay nearby, and a bystander.
In February, Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a report declining to prosecute the police officer, concluding that the officer’s actions were “justified and not criminal.”
The coalition is filing the lawsuit to obtain a complete response to their Feb. 20 Public Records Request for the release of video footage, names of the officers involved, documents related to the attorney general’s decision to assert jurisdiction over the investigation, and the documents the attorney general reviewed in the investigation.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall responded to that request by refusing to produce videos, documents, and even the names of officers. He asserted, among other reasons, that disclosing any information would “negatively impact…the personal safety of law enforcement officials.”
“It’s ludicrous and insulting that the state of Alabama thinks we should simply take their word about what happened, without letting us see the full and unedited video footage and without releasing the officer’s name who killed E.J.,” Bradford family attorney Ben Crump said. “In a state with the racial history of Alabama, why would anyone believe their account of a white officer shooting a black man, especially when they’re trying to hide some of the evidence? It’s so unfortunate they have left us with no choice but to sue for video they don’t want us to see and for the name of the officer to be released.”