Officials in Hoover, Alabama doubled down Monday on their vow of silence in response to demands for information about the circumstances surrounding the police killing of Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr. on Thanksgiving night in a shopping mall.
“While we maintain our commitment to be fully transparent during this process, we must respect the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s request for full cooperation and continue to have faith in the judicial process,” Hoover Chief of Police Nick Derzis said in a statement released on Monday explaining the reason behind the pledge of silence.
On Saturday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson issued a call for justice during his eulogy of Bradford.
“We will have the tape made public. We want transparency, not coverup. Tell the whole story, tell it now. We want justice now. We want fairness now,” Jackson said.
An officer shot Bradford while responding to a mall shooting, gunning down the Black man on sight based on instinctive and implicit racial bias. Police announced immediately after the killing that Bradford was the mall shooter before admitting its avoidable error when it was later found out that Bradford’s gun had not been fired, prompting police to change its story. Some witnesses said 21-year-old Bradford was helping others escape the shooting.
The arrest of the actual suspect came Thursday.
Bradford’s family has demanded the release of mall video, witness videos and body camera footage of Bradford’s death.
However, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, who vowed transparency, has ruled out release of the video and the name of the officers involved in the shooting.
Hoover promptly turned over the investigation to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which will determine when — or if — the public will see video evidence from the shooting, as well as whether to identify the officers involved.
In his statement on Monday, the police chief pointed to a Dec. 1 letter he and the mayor received from Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor.
Derzis said the letter reiterated Taylor’s objection to “the premature release of any critical information in regards to the investigation.”
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Alabama Officials Pledge Silence In EJ Bradford’s Police Killing After Demands For Justice was originally published on newsone.com