Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., an African-American man, was shot three times in his back side by police officers at a mall in Hoover, Alabama, on Thanksgiving Day, his family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, announced Monday. At a press conference, Crump revealed the findings of an independent autopsy, which showed that Bradford was shot in the head, neck, and lower back. “The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head. Manner of death is homicide,” the report says. Police initially identified Bradford, 21, as the gunman who shot two people at the Hoover shopping center, but later said he was an innocent bystander who pulled out his own gun as he was fleeing the scene. A suspect in the shooting was arrested last week.
Police said Monday they would not release body-cam video or other evidence until a state investigation is complete. Derrick Murphy, Hoover’s only black city council member, called for state authorities to release the footage, saying that if they do not, Murphy and other city officials may release it themselves. “If anything, the evidence corroborates the testimony of multiple witnesses who said EJ was trying to help others,” Crump said of the autopsy. “The findings are devastating and heartbreaking to EJ’s family, compounding the shattering impact of this unnecessary and unwarranted killing.”