- Emantic Bradford Jr., 21, was shot dead by a police officer responding to a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama on Thanksgiving night.
- Cops initially pinned the shooting at the mall, which left two injured, on Bradford, but later walked back the accusation and said he likely wasn’t the shooter.
- Bradford’s parents are speaking out and demanding that video footage of the shooting be released, which they believe will show that their son was trying to help authorities.
The parents of a black man who was shot dead by a cop responding to a mall shooting, and then wrongly identified as the gunman, are speaking out to demand justice for their son.
Gunfire broke out at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama just before 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. When cops responded to the scene, an officer shot and killed Emantic Bradford Jr., 21, and initially blamed him for shooting one of the two other people who were injured in the fight, an 18-year-old man.
But a day later, the Hoover Police walked back their initial statement, saying that Bradford “likely didn’t fire” the shots and that “at least one gunman” is still at large.
Over the weekend, Bradford’s parents, Emantic Bradford Sr. and April Pipkins, held a press conference and spoke to several news outlets about their son’s death.
“Thanksgiving will never be the same for me. It will never be the same. Yesterday I lost my son,” Pipkins told NBC News on Friday.
Bradford’s parents have hired high-profile civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who described Bradford on CBS News as a “good guy with a gun” who “[happened] to be black.”
At a Sunday press conference, the parents demanded that police release surveillance footage and body cam video of the shooting, which they believe will prove that their son was just trying to help authorities. Crump also said that Bradford had a licence to carry a concealed weapon.
At the presss conference, Bradford’s grandmother grew so emotional that she fainted and had to be helped off the ground.
Bradford’s father, who is a cop with the Birmingham Police, said he never bought the story that his son was “walking around the mall, waving a gun.”
“I know my son always respected the police and if you gave a command, you came around that corner, said ‘Freeze, drop your weapon,’ he would have complied with your order,” Bradford Sr. told CBS News.
He added to ABC News: “They just went and rushed to judgment on national TV. They slandered my son’s name, got my son looking like he’s a killer.”
Pipkins said she learned about her son’s death on social media.
“That is no way to learn about your child’s death … that’s not fair, that’s not humane,” she told ABC News.
Pipkins added that she will “get justice for our child so no other parent” has to go through what she went through.
The unidentified officer who shot and killed Bradford has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
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