Alabama officer who mistakenly killed man at mall on Black Friday won’t be charged
The police officer who killed Emantic Bradford Jr. at a Birmingham-area mall on Thanksgiving night “did not commit a crime … and thus will not be criminally charged for his actions,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Tuesday.
Marshall said it was also his understanding that the FBI will not be initiating a civil rights case against the officer.
The Hoover, Alabama, officer, who has not been identified, was working mall security Thanksgiving night when he killed Bradford after a shooting that left two people injured.
Hoover police initially identified Bradford, 21, as the suspect, then recanted and said he brandished a weapon — only to recant that statement as well, saying Bradford was mistaken for an active shooter because he was holding a gun at the scene, which “immediately heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers.”
Witnesses have said Bradford, armed with a permitted weapon, was helping mall patrons when the officer shot him in the back, family attorney Ben Crump has said.
Marshall also released surveillance video Tuesday of the November 22 incident after showing the video to Bradford’s family.
CNN is attempting to reach family members.
Confusion from the outset
Hoover police initially said Bradford shot Brian Wilson, 18, in the suburban Birmingham mall and that an officer killed Bradford as he fled. Molly Davis, 12, also was shot, police said, adding it wasn’t clear by whom.
Police later changed the story, saying witnesses and forensic tests indicated that while Bradford may have been involved in an altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the victims.
His family has said Bradford was not at the mall with any of the victims or the suspect. He went there with his cousin and two friends and, possessing a permit to carry a weapon, pulled out his gun after the shooting began. He was helping people escape danger when he was killed, the family says.
Erron Brown, 20, was arrested days later in Georgia and charged with attempted murder in Wilson’s shooting, police said. Brown’s attorney has said video will clear his client. No charges have been filed in the shooting of the 12-year-old.
The officer who shot Bradford was on paid administrative leave pending the state investigation.
The family has said its independent medical review showed Bradford had been shot three times in the back. The bullets struck him beneath his ear, at the base of his neck and just above his buttocks, Crump said.