The black man killed by a police officer responding to a shooting at an Alabama mall was shot three times from behind, an independent autopsy found.
At a Monday press conference in Birmingham, Alabama, a lawyer for the family of Emantic “E.J.” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. said the officer involved in the Thanksgiving night shooting should be charged with a crime.
“We believe based on this forensic evidence that this officer should be charged with a crime,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump told reporters, according to NBC News. “There’s nothing that justifies him shooting E.J. as he’s moving away from him.”
“You’re not a threat when you’re running away.”
Bradford, 21, was mistakenly identified as the gunman who opened fire on an 18-year-old man and also hit a 12-year-old girl at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover on Thanksgiving night.
Hoover police backtracked and said it was “unlikely” that Bradford was involved — but that he’d pulled out a gun at the scene, causing confusion. Bradford had a permit to carry a weapon, his father said.
According to the private autopsy, Bradford was shot in the back of the head, neck and in the back. There was also a laceration on his right eyebrow that might indicate he fell forward.
“My son was murdered by this officer and that was cowardice,” his father, Emantic Bradford Sr., a former corrections officer, said at the news conference. “You shot a 21-year-old person running away from gunfire. Never posed you a threat, never had nothing in his hand. Why did you shoot him? You can’t explain that to me, ’cause that ain’t training. That’s cowardice.”
Police encouraged the family and their lawyer to submit the results of the independent autopsy to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency “so this new information becomes a part of the official investigation.”
Earlier Monday, cops said they wouldn’t release any evidence — including video of the shooting — until the investigation is complete.
Erron Brown, 20, the man who police contend is the real suspect in the shooting, was arrested in Georgia last week.
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