By Frederick H. Lowe
Police in Alabama shot and killed a 21-year-old man trying to protect other mall shoppers from gunfire by shooting him in the back because they mistakenly believed he was the gunman although he never pulled or fired his weapon.
A preliminary anatomical review showed that Emantic F. Bradford Jr. was shot in the back of the head, neck and back. It was determined that the head wound killed him, according to Dr. Roger A. Mitchell, Jr., a forensic pathologist hired by Bradford’s family. Dr. Mitchell, who is the chief medical examiner for Washington, D.C., called the shooting a homicide.
“We believe, based on the forensic evidence, that this officer should be charged with a crime,” said Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Bradford’s family. Police have not released the name of the cop except to say that he is white.
Hoover, Alabama, police shot to death Bradford November 22 after a fight erupted inside Riverchase Galleria, a shopping mall in Hoover, which is near Birmingham. A gunman shot an 18-year-old multiple times and also wounded a 12-year-old. Police were called to the mall and one of them shot and killed Bradford who was armed, but according to eyewitnesses he was helping others escape the gunfire. He wasn’t firing his weapon.
Initially, police blamed Bradford for causing his own death. A day later, Hoover police admitted Bradford did not fire his gun inside the mall and was not waving the weapon around. Police later acknowledged that the actual gunman was still on the loose.
Days later, U.S. Marshalls arrested Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, at a relative’s home in South Fulton, Georgia for attempted murder, the U.S. Marshall’s Office told BlackmansStreet.Today.
Dr. Mitchell’s report has pages of anatomical drawings, showing where police bullets entered Bradford’s body. One bullet entered the right side of his lower back. The other bullets entered the back of Bradford’s head on the right side and exited through the left forehead. The third bullet entered the right side of his neck at the base. The bullet was recovered in Bradford’s throat.
This is the second high-profile deadly police shooting in which the family of the victim hired a forensic pathologist.
Stephon Clark, 23, was shot eight times, including six times in the back, by Sacramento, California, police in March. His family hired Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist, to perform the autopsy.
Dr. Omalu discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease found in football players who have had repeated hits to the head. His story was featured in the 2015 movie “Concussion,” starring Will Smith.