A year after the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. his family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the police officer who shot him and the city of Hoover, Alabama.
Emantic’s mother, April Pipkins, has filed a lawsuit against the yet-to-be-named police officer and the city. The suit alleges that the cop did not follow his training, violated department policy when he failed to turn on his body-camera, didn’t issue verbal commands before shooting and did not assess whether Emantic posed a threat before killing him.
The shooting occurred on Thanksgiving night, 2018, when an armed assailant opened fire inside an Alabama shopping mall, shooting an 18-year-old male and a 12-year-old girl. Hoover police engaged a man with a gun shortly after the shots rang out. The man, Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr., was shot by police in the back multiple times and died. Police initially released the following statement saying they had stopped the shooting:
“…two males engaged in a physical altercation on the second floor concourse area of the Riverchase Galleria, near the entrance to the Footaction. During the fight, one of the males produced a handgun and shot the other male twice in the torso. Two uniformed Hover Police officers providing security at the mall were in close proximity and heard the gunshots. While moving toward the shooting scene, one of the officers encountered a suspect brandishing a pistol and shot him. That individual, a 21-year-old male from Hueytown, was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Later that night, the police changed their statement, saying that while Bradford may have been involved in “some aspect of the altercation” and was armed with a handgun, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the two others.
“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,” Hoover police spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said.
“Not only did they assassinate his person but they truly assassinated his character,” high profile attorney Benjamin Crump said at a news conference. “[The officer] saw a black man with a gun and he made his determination that he must be a criminal.”
It was later determined that Emantic was not the shooter but had pulled out his legal firearm in an effort to protect the people in the mall as they all fled for safety from the real shooter.
As FOX 43 reported:
The slain 21-year-old’s family says he was at Riverchase Galleria in the Birmingham suburb with his cousin and friends the night of Thanksgiving 2018 when, police allege, Erron Martez Dequan Brown began shooting. Possessing a permit to carry a weapon, Bradford pulled out his gun and was helping people escape when the unnamed Hoover police officer working as mall security shot him, they say.
The suit, which also alleges Fourth and 14th Amendment violations, excessive force among them, seeks a jury trial and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.