Officer who shot EJ Bradford named in federal lawsuit

Crime

HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — The Hoover police officer who shot and killed Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford Jr. during a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria in 2018 has now been identified.

In an amended lawsuit filed by Bradford’s family, Ofc. David Alexander was named as the police officer who shot Bradford on Nov. 22, 2018 at the Galleria following a shooting that had been reported at the mall. The suit, which had been previously filed in federal court back in May, did not originally name Alexander, simply referring to him as “John Doe.”

As EJ Bradford’s family continues their fight for justice in his death, his father said the judge releasing the officer’s name is a small step in the right direction. “His name is out there now, pull his personnel file, see what type of officer he was,” said Emantic Bradford Sr.

Bradford Sr. said the Hoover PD is at fault for how the officer was trained and for their lack of responsibility now.

“That was murder,” said Bradford Sr. “Point blank, murder. My son was murdered, and I’m not going to let that go.”

The family said the Thanksgiving holiday brings back many painful memories, but they use it as motivation in their fight for justice.

“The left him lying on that cold floor like that, alone and uncovered,” said Bradford Sr. “I get mad every time I think about that. But at the end of the day, I’m going to make sure he gets the justice he deserves. I’m going to fight until I don’t have breath left in my body. I want to see him go to jail. Real bad.”

Leading up to Bradford’s death, a shooting between four people broke out at the Galleria, causing shoppers and bystanders to flee the area. In the commotion, Bradford drew his a gun he owned and went to seek out to protect those who had been shot, according to the lawsuit.

In the complaint, it is alleged that Ofc. Alexander and another officer were two of the officers who arrived on the scene, trying to figure out what had happened and if the shooter was still in the area.

“Upon observing EJ – a young black male with a handgun moving toward the victim and a second person who was already helping the victim – Alexander fired four bullets at EJ with the specific intent of killing him,” the complaint stated. “Prior to Alexander firing his handgun, in violation of standard police procedure and training, Alexander did not issue any verbal warnings or commands to EJ, verify that EJ actually presented as a physical threat to anyone, and after he fired each bullet, he did not stop and reassess the threat level before firing the next bullet.”

The complaint stated it is “undisputed” that Alexander fired the fatal shot and that the officer next to him did not fire.

An investigation later determined Bradford had nothing to do with the initial shooting at the mall. After going through mall surveillance video and witness statements, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office determined that the police did nothing wrong and were justified in shooting Bradford.

In addition to Alexander, other parties who are named in the complaint are the city of Hoover, the Galleria, as well as Galleria owners Brookfield Property Partners.


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