BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — National civil rights attorney Ben Crump issued the following statement Tuesday in response to the Alabama Attorney General’s report in regards to the officer-involved shooting death of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., at the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night.
“It is outrageous and beyond comprehension that the Alabama Attorney General has concluded that it was reasonable for a trained law enforcement officer to fatally shoot an innocent civilian, one whose only action was an attempt to help protect the public and whose only ‘crime’ was being black.
Are we to accept that it is reasonable for our law enforcement officers to respond by acting on their inherent biases? In this case, it looks very much like the officer’s reasoning was ‘black man plus gun equals: shoot.’ The Attorney General says no more than 2 seconds elapsed between the time officers engaged EJ Bradford and the time he was gunned down by a police officer, who admitted he provided no verbal warning. Are we also to accept that the officer had no duty to determine what was actually happening, that instead it was fine for him to fire fatal shots with no more than 2 seconds to consider whether it was warranted – especially when there was a second officer who did not shoot?
Until the full video has been released to the public, everyone is subject to the editing bias that the Attorney General’s Office chose to apply in preparing its report. The decision to evade a grand jury mimics the darkens patterns of injustice woven throughout Alabama’s sad history of race relations. From the beginning, this case has been riddled with dubious actions by officials. In December, the Attorney General took this case away from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, the first black person to hold that position, undermining the trust of our community and further proving why we demand transparency from those in power.
The full, unedited video must be released immediately. With this report, the Attorney General is doing everything he can to exonerate the officer’s inexcusable actions, trying to justify the officer’s failure to follow proper procedures – and, more importantly, to ignore the civil rights of an innocent, law-abiding man who happened to be black.”