Thursday, the Alabama NAACP and ACLU held a joint press conference in which they demanded more information about the shooting of Emantic “E.J” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. by a Hoover Police Officer at Hoover’s Riverchase Galleria Mall on Thanksgiving night.
On Tuesday Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) announced that the shooting of Bradford, who was armed with a gun, was justified and no charges would be brought against the Hoover Police Officer.
NAACP President Bernard Simelton said, “We are outraged at the actions of Attorney General Marshall and the actions of the officers of the Hoover Police Department.”
Simelton is asking for Marshall to reconsider that decision and for the AG to meet with them about his decision and if he won’t meet to explain his decision then Marshall should resign.
“If not, then AG Marshall should resign as AG for the State of Alabama,” Pres. Simelton said. “We believe that there was more than enough evidence to send this case to a grand jury and he failed to do so.”
Simelton also called for the police officer to resign.
“We don’t believe that he can serve as a police officer in Hoover or any other community because of the lack of judgment that he has shown,” Simelton said.
Simelton said the NAACP is asking for all the videos and interviews of eyewitnesses in the Galleria at the time. Simelton wants release of standard procedures for use of deadly force by police departments across Alabama.
“We are calling on our state legislators to have more dialogue about this open carry law,” Simelton said. He called for the legislature “to reverse their decision on the open carry law” and pass “principled gun control.”
Simelton also called “for the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation in to the shooting of E.J.”
Dillon Nettles is a policy analyst with the ACLU of Alabama.
Nettles said that the ACLU is also demanding Hoover Police Department policies and training on shooting and on racial sensitivity training; but had not gotten the requested information,
“Refusing to disclose this information results in withholding the people’s power and ability to demand accountability when wrongdoing occurs, deepening the distrust of law enforcement,” Nettles said.
Nettles also questioned why Marshall took the case from Danny Carr, the first Black District Attorney in the history of Jefferson County. Nettles said that the AG’s office has not taken a murder investigation away from a DA in 65 years, the 1954 Albert Patterson murder after which the Governor declared a state of emergency and sent in the National Guard and special prosecutors.
NAACP Spokesperson Patricia Mokolo said that Bradford was, “A young human being, who had barely begun to live, was shot three times, all three kill shots, in the back.”
“America. It is a dangerous place for African Americans to live,” Mokolo said. “Even if you are EJ Bradford even if you are the good guy with the gun. We are all not seen equally in the eyes of the law.”