Monday night’s emergency City Council meeting in Hoover City ended abruptly after protests broke out over Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr.‘s untimely Thanksgiving-day death.
Bradford Jr. was killed at the Riverchase Galleria by an officer responding to the report of a mall shooting. Police said Bradford had a gun, and they initially blamed him for opening fire. They later retracted that allegation.
The Council had hoped to unify the city, in light of the tragic mistake, reading the following statement aloud during the meeting:
The Hoover City Council wants to publicly extend sympathy to the family of E.J. Bradford, Jr. and will continue to support them through prayer. We also pray for those injured or in any other way affected. The Council wants to formally express their regret for the misinformation provided to the public that later implicated E.J. Bradford, Jr. as the shooter in the November 22nd incident of violence. As leaders in our City, the council members re-affirm our commitment to public safety, fair and equitable treatment of all people, and respect for the law. We ask for patience and peace as the ongoing investigation of this incident is conducted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and promise to do all in our power to encourage unity over division. In the words of Mother Teresa, “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.” We, as the Hoover City Council, believe that God’s light can and will overcome the darkness of this tragedy if we all seek it together.
But the meeting was adjourned early after protestors failed to follow the rules for public comment, shouting as a group to the councilors.
Protestors are now threatening to release the name of the police officer who shot Bradford Jr, should the city not do so by noon on Tuesday.
“You have until 12 o’clock noon to release the officer’s name. It’s not a threat, it’s a promise,” activist Carlos Chaverst told city councilors.
Monday night’s council meeting was not the first time protestors demanded justice for Bradford Jr. In less than 48 hours after his death, more than 200 protesters marched through the Galleria chanting in protest of what happened to Bradford. There, they chanted “E.J.” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” holding signs that read “Emantic’s Life Matters.”