[Ed. – It was a tragedy, which the victim partly brought on himself by brandishing a gun he had a permit to carry.]
Police in Alabama promised transparency Monday after a weekend of protests in response to an officer fatally shooting a black man who pulled out his legally permitted weapon following gunfire at a shopping mall.
Hoover Police initially described the officer as “heroic” for bringing down Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. after two people were wounded at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham Thanksgiving night. Then they retracted the statement, saying it’s “unlikely” Bradford was involved.
Bradford’s father said his son was a 21-year-old Army veteran with a permit to carry a weapon. The statement police released early Monday suggested Bradford shouldn’t have pulled it 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,” the statement from the city of Hoover and its police department says.
Bradford’s parents appeared on CNN later Monday morning, saying police still haven’t spoken with them. They want to see body-camera video, and they’ve hired a civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, to help them.