After a two month investigation, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall concluded that the officer’s actions were “reasonable and not criminal.” The unnamed off-duty cop who was working mall security at the time, gunned down 21-year-old Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. during a Thanksgiving night shooting at Riverchase Galleria. Officers were responding to a shooting that left two people injured, when they encountered Bradford.
Police say Bradford, who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, brandished his firearm. The shooting officer fired four rounds at Bradford hitting him three times, including in the neck and lower back. According to eyewitnesses, the officer opened fire immediately without giving a verbal command. The investigation report concluded that the officer acted lawfully because he believed that Bradford was “going to murder” someone.“Officer 1 acted as any reasonable person would have acted in the same situation,” the investigation reports reads.
“The fact that Officer 1 mistakenly believed that E.J. Bradford fired the initial two shots that injured Brian Wilson does not render his actions unreasonable for two reasons,” the report continues. “A reasonable person could have assumed that the only person with a gun who was running toward the victim of a shooting that occurred just three seconds earlier fired the shots.” The actual shooter, Erron Brown, was arrested in Atlanta a few days later.
Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing Bradford’s family, said that Bradford was simply trying to get people to safety and away from the shooting.
Last week, Bradford’s family held a press conference pleading with police to release full video footage of the shooting so that they can learn “the truth.”
Bradford’s family also spoke out after learning that the shooting officer would not be charged. “My son was murdered. And you think I’m going to let it go? That was a homicide… you killed my son. You are a coward,” Bradford’s father said before adding a message for the state’s attorney general. “You’re a coward too, Steve Marshall.”