Alabama police said they will be transparent on Monday following protests after a cop shot and killed a Black man who was holding his legally obtained gun after gunfire rang out at a mall, NBC News reports.
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was fatally shot by an officer in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover at the Riverchase Galleria mall on Thursday night. Officials initially said that the cop who shot Bradfod was “heroic” before walking back that statement when realizing he was “unlikely” involved.
Bradford’s father said that his Army veteran sun had a permit to carry a gun, according to NBC News. Law enforcement officers suggested in a statement that Bradford, 21, should not have had his gun out.
“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,” Hoover police department and city officials said in a statement to NBC.
Adding that they “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.”
On Thursday night, officers responded to gunshots at the mall, while people were doing their Black Friday shopping. Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said that one man shot an 18-year-old man twice during the incident. He added that a 12-year-old girl was injured.
“We don’t trust the police department because they’ve already lied to them. They released his picture all over the world saying he was the shooter and the police officer was a hero,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who was hired by Bradford’s parents. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a good guy with a gun if you’re black the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later.”
Bradford’s parents said that they believe their son was trying to help and that cops have yet to speak to them about the incident. They’re also demanding to see body-camera footage from the responding officers.
“Body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department as part of the investigation,” the police said in their statement. “Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.”