By: Nate Morris
HOOVER, AL – Two days after Emantic F. Bradford, Jr. was laid to rest, an independent autopsy report released by his family attorney reveal that the 21 year old army soldier was shot three times by police from behind.
EJ was killed while at the Riverchase Galleria mall late on Thanksgiving. Bradford, who was in possession of a firearm which he was licensed to carry, was apparently attempting to try and help stop a mass shooting that was occurring inside the shopping center.
Without warning or verbal command to drop his weapon, police fired three rounds into the back of EJ’s body, one in his lower torso, one in his neck, and one in his head, killing him instantly.
Immediately following the shooting, local police claimed that EJ was the suspected mass shooter and called the officer who shot him “heroic”. His picture was splayed across local media for nearly a day before the department realized their error. The actual shooter, Erron Brown, would not be taken into custody for another week.
The Bradford family and their attorney, Ben Crump, have repeatedly requested that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) release surveillance and body cam footage of the incident. As of now, the agency has refused to do so, despite calls from local elected officials.
“My son was murdered by this officer, and that was cowardice,” said Bradford’s father.
Protests began two days after Bradford’s killing and have continued since. No charges have been filed yet in the death of EJ Bradford.
Nate Morris is the senior editor of the Black Wall Street Times. Nate was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to Tulsa in 2012 after graduating from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2015. Nate is a Teach for America alumnus and has worked in schools throughout the Tulsa area. He is an advocate for educational equity as well as racial and social justice throughout Tulsa and the nation as a whole.