New revelations have come to light regarding the Thanksgiving Day police shooting of Emantic Bradford, Jr., in Alabama. According to an independent autopsy ordered by Bradford’s family, the results of which were released Monday, Bradford was shot three times from the back.
WBRC reports that:
Family attorney Benjamin Crump said at a Monday morning press conference that Bradford was shot in the back of the right side of his skull and the bullet exited through his left eye. It initially appeared that he was shot in the face.
The second bullet entered his neck and lodged in his tonsils, according to the report.
The report said the third shot entered the right side of Bradford’s hip area, moving through his hip bone and stopping in his abdominal wall.
The independent autopsy was carried out by Dr. Roger Mitchell, chief medical examiner for Washington, D.C. “The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head,” Crump wrote in a document provided to media at the press conference, according to AL.com. “The manner of death is homicide.”
Crump said the autopsy suggests Bradford was running away when he was shot. “There’s nothing that justifies [the officer] shooting EJ as he’s moving away from him. You’re not a threat when you’re running away,” Crump said at the press conference, CNN reported.
As I noted last week, it’s still unclear what happened that led police working security to shoot and kill Bradford. However, police have had a tough time getting their story straight. We do know there was a prior shooting that injured two people at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, where thousands of people were kicking off the holiday shopping season.
The scene turned chaotic when a gunman opened fire, injuring an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. At some point, Bradford took his gun out. He may not have been the only one, as AL.com reported that “several shoppers were seen with their guns drawn.”
Bradford was quickly shot, and police pinned the initial shooting on him. Two days later, they admitted “that while Mr. Bradford may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim.” The 12-year-old who was shot is believed to have been an “innocent bystander,” police said.
Last Monday, the police department and the city of Hoover claimed “with certainty” that “Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene.” They seemed to be suggesting Bradford shouldn’t have pulled out his gun in the first place, though his father claims Bradford had a permit for the handgun.
Later that day, police clarified that by claiming Bradford had “brandished” his gun, they really meant he “had a gun in his hand,” not that he was necessarily threatening people with it.
On Thursday, police finally arrested a suspect in the original shooting.
Local law enforcement, meanwhile, are refusing to release evidence—including video footage—regarding the shooting. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which is investigating the incident, does not want to risk “compromising the justice process for everyone involved,” Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said in a statement this morning.
Following the release of the independent autopsy, the ALEA encouraged Crump ad the Bradford family to send them the results. An officlal autopsy has been completed as well, but Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates told CNN Monay that he couldn’t comment on it due to the ongoing investigation.