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Marshall: Hoover officer justified in Galleria shooting

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Tuesday that the officer involved in the shooting death of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. was justified.

The attorney general released a report on the officer-involved shooting death by the Hoover Police Department.

Marshall’s office said it informed the Hoover Police Department and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation that the Attorney General’s Office has concluded that the Hoover police officer who shot and killed Bradford at the Riverchase Galleria mall on Nov. 22, 2018, did not commit a crime under Alabama law.

“Officer 1’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances and were consistent with his training and nationally-accepted standards for ‘active shooter’ scenarios,” the report, which did not name the officer, found. “Accordingly, Officer 1’s actions do not constitute a crime under Alabama law.”

He will not be criminally charged for the shooting death.

Marshall said it is his understanding that the FBI had also reviewed the matter and found no evidence to initiate a case against the officer for civil rights violations.

“Officer 1 reasonably exercised his official duties, powers, or functions when he shot E.J. Bradford on the night of November 22, 2018,” the report reads. “Accordingly, Alabama law declares his action ‘justified and not criminal.’ … Because Officer 1 did not commit a crime under Alabama law … the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct dictates that the Attorney General ‘shall refrain’ from seeking criminal charges against Officer 1.”

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Warning: Video contains graphic content.

The AGO showed surveillance video of the shooting death of Bradford Jr. to Bradford’s parents and attorneys, who had requested to be shown the video and to have it released to the public.

Bradford went to the Riverchase Galleria mall Thanksgiving night.

At some point, he and a friend were involved in a scuffle over sale-priced shoes with another young black man, guns were drawn, shots were fired and Bradford’s friend was shot, as well as a 13-year-old girl who was shopping there with her grandmother at the time.

A Hoover police officer, who was off duty, working security for the Galleria, rushed to the scene and saw Bradford with a gun, the AG’s office said.

He shot Bradford who died at the scene. The Hoover police erroneously reported that Bradford was the shooter. That narrative was proven false early in the investigation.

Marshall assumed jurisdiction over all of the Hoover shooting cases, citing a conflict of interest with Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr’s office, which was handling the case. The law enforcement officer is a witness in several cases on Carr’s caseload.

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Civil rights groups and some in the black community have accused the Hoover Police of acting improperly, and there were several protests in the Hoover area and even at Marshall’s home in Montgomery over the Christmas holidays, demanding “Justice for E.J.”


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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