An Alabama man who was fatally shot by police at a mall on Thanksgiving night was shot from behind, according to an autopsy.
Officers from Hoover, Alabama, responded to a shooting at Galleria Mall in Birmingham on Nov. 22 that wounded a 12- and 18-year-old. During the incident, police fatally shot 21-year-old Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr, who they said was holding a pistol. Bradford was directing shoppers to safety during the shooting, The New York Times reported.
On Monday, attorney Benjamin Crump said an independent autopsy showed Bradford was shot in the back, head and neck, NBC reported.
“We believe based on this forensic evidence that (the officer who shot Bradford) should be charged with a crime,” Crump said at a news conference. “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 graduated from a Catholic high school in the area and joined the Army in 2017. He was “administratively separated” from the service in August, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. His father, Bradford Sr., said his son had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The autopsy report said Bradford had a laceration on his face which might indicate he fell forward after being shot from behind.
“EJ’s senseless death is the latest egregious example of a black man killed because he was perceived to be a threat due to the color of his skin,” Crump said in a statement.
The killing has sparked protests in the Birmingham area, where demonstrators have demanded accountability, including the release of body camera footage of the incident.
Hoover police said that “body camera video and other available video has been turned over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) which is now investigating the shooting.”
The results of that investigation will then be turned over to the district attorney’s office.
The suspect in the shooting, 20-year-old Erron Brown, was taken into custody in Georgia on Thursday, according to NBC News.