Releasing press release after press release might be the worst thing Hoover Police has done since the fatal shooting of Emantic Bradford Jr.
After it was revealed the 21-year-old wasn’t the gunman in an Alabama mall shooting on Thanksgiving, the department has released another statement, suggesting the Army veteran is to blame for his death.
In a statement Monday (Nov. 26), Hoover Police claim Bradford was reportedly carrying his gun at the time of the shooting, which led responding officers to believe he was the gunman who shot an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old. Since the shooting last week, several reports were recounted after it was proven one of the officers shot the wrong person.
“We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” the statement reads. “We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic J. Bradford of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances.”
Bradford’s family and friends suggest that he was attempting to resolve the situation since he had a permit to carry his gun. Police officers were able to respond so quickly to the shooting because they were already in the Riverchase Galleria to monitor Black Friday shoppers.
Emantic Bradford Sr., Bradford’s father, said his son was falsely portrayed as a criminal and that they were never informed of their son’s passing until they saw it on social media. As of Sunday, the family hasn’t heard from Hoover police or the city’s mayor Frank V. Brocato.
NPR reports civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump will represent the Bradford family. At a press conference at Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park Sunday (Nov. 25), the family slammed the Hoover police for their mishandlings. Bradford Sr., who is a retired Birmingham jail employee, said his son was seen as a villain to America. They also grieved over deciding whether to have an open or closed casket funeral because their son was shot in the face.
“My son is gone. I can’t get him back … you vilified my son,” he said. Speaking to reporters, family members said Bradford Jr. was taking care of his father, who is battling cancer.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has received body camera and other footage of the shooting. They haven’t announced plans to make it available for public viewing.