An unidentified police office in Hoover, Alabama, won’t face charges in the shooting death of a 21-year-old Black man, according to a report released by State Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday (February 5).
"The Hoover police officer who shot and killed Emantic ‘E.J.’ Bradford Jr. at the Riverchase Galleria mall on November 22, 2018, did not commit a crime under Alabama law and thus will not be criminally charged for his actions," the document reads.
As Colorlines previously reported, the incident started when two men began fighting inside Birmingham’s Riverchase Galleria Mall last year on Thanksgiving night (November 22). One man shot the other twice, which caused chaos as shoppers ran for their lives. During the melee, an off-duty officer shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. According to his family, Bradford stood outside the mall and pulled out his gun in an attempt to protect frightened customers when he was killed.
The attorney general’s report says the officer "identified E.J. Bradford as an immediate deadly threat to innocent civilians and thus shot Bradford to eliminate the threat." It also states the officer "reasonably exercised his official powers, duties, or functions when he shot E. J. Bradford."
That conclusion did not sit well with protestors who burned two American flags outside Hoover City Hall, NBC news reports. According to the outlet, the words "BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER" were spray painted in the flags. WVTM 13 Digital captured footage of demonstration leader Carlos Chaverst Jr. speaking in front of the crowd as police watched. "His life burned," Chaverst said. "And now this American flag is going to burn to represent what it’s like to be black in America."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also reviewed the incident and "found no evidence to initiate a case against the officer for civil rights violation(s)," noted the attorney general.