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By Nehemiah D. Frank
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., 21, is yet another Black man who happened to die at the hands of a trigger-happy police officer.
Perhaps the officer who shot Emantic was looking for a moment of glory, a moment to be the hero.
However, a gun was recovered from Santa’s Village at the Gallery Mall in Hoover that following day, indicating that the actual gunman is still on the loose.
Nevertheless, the officer’s mistake or subconscious racial bias won’t bring back the true fallen hero, Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr.
Emantic was a US soldier, who happened to be Black and legally carrying at the time.
The Police Chief of Hoover County said this to reporters on the night Emantic lost his life to gun violence at the hands of a Hoover police officer.
“Thank God we had our officers very close; they heard the gunfire, they engaged the subject, and they took out the threat.”
Seemingly to the police officer, who chose to be the judge, jury, and executor, Emantic was a threat because he was a Black man with a gun.
The officer didn’t think twice about the fact that Alabama is an open carry state.
Furthermore, the guilty police officer didn’t know that Emantic was a US soldier and a respectful son who often drove his father to chemotherapy treatments, a father who has worked in the corrections department with the Birmingham police department for 25 years.
The following day, the Hoover Police Department admitted to killing the wrong person.
However, three days have passed since Emantic was killed and his mother, April Pipkins, hasn’t received a call, not even a knock on her door, from the Hoover Police Department nor the mayor of Hoover.
Ms. Pipkins told MSNBC that she learned a Hoover police officer shot her son from a close friend of Emantic.
Witnesses said that they saw Emantic trying to help people flee the direction of the actual gunman, waving people away from the shooting. Then they said that they saw the Hoover police officer shoot Emantic in the face within milliseconds of arriving.
Mall surveillance also revealed that a nurse tried to assist Emantic, but Hoover police told her not to assist Emantic. Emantic received no aid from Hoover police.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who oversaw the Travon Martin and Terence Crutcher cases and is now the family’s attorney, is concerned that the Hoover Police Department will try and sweep this tragedy under the rug.
“It was unjustifiable how the Hoover police department pulled the trigger and released Emantic’s face and plastered his face all across the media, and they were celebrating this officer as a hero,” Attorney Crump explained.
Ms. Pipkins said that she hadn’t been invited to view her son’s body and fears his funeral will be a closed casket due to Emantic’s facial injury from the police officer.
Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and executive editor of The Black Wall Street Times. He graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Oklahoma State University. A rising voice in America and an emerging leader in the education reform movement, Nehemiah frequently travels for speaking engagements around the country, is a blogger for Education Post, and has been featured on NBC as well as in Blavity and Tulsa People. Nehemiah is also a teacher at Sankofa School of the Performing Arts in Tulsa, OK, a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation honoree, a recipient of the 2017 METCares Foundation Community Impact Award, and a 2018 Oluko Fellow. He gave a TED Talk at The University of Tulsa in the spring of 2018.