Police in Alabama promised transparency Monday after a weekend of protests in response to an officer fatally shooting a black man who pulled out his legally permitted weapon after gunfire at a shopping mall, the Associated Press reports. Hoover, Al., Police initially described the officer as “heroic” for bringing down Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. after two people were wounded at the Riverchase Galleria mall outside Birmingham Thanksgiving night. They retracted the statement, saying it’s “unlikely” Bradford was involved. Bradford’s father said his son was a 21-year-old Army veteran with a permit to carry a weapon. A statement police released Monday suggested Bradford shouldn’t have pulled it out. “We can say with certainty Mr. 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,” the city Hoover said.
Bradford’s parents appeared on CNN on Monday, saying police still haven’t spoken with them. They want to see body-camera video, and they’ve hired a civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, to help them.“We don’t trust the police department because they’ve already lied to them. They released his picture all over the world saying he was the shooter and the police officer was a hero,” Crump said. The Hoover police expressed sympathy for Bradford as well as the family of the 18-year-old man and the 12-year-old girl who were wounded in the initial shooting. They said they are “pursuing the initial shooter who still remains at large.”