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Family lawyer confirms seeing some video of police shooting

December 7, 2018
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This undated image provided by Emantic Bradford, Sr. shows Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., 21, posing for a picture at his father's home near Birmingham, Ala., in his senior year of high school. About 200 people marched through an Alabama shopping mall to protest Bradford Jr.'s death, whom police erroneously believed was the gunman who shot and wounded two people. The protesters gathered at the spot at the mall in suburban Birmingham where he was shot and killed after reports of gunfire. Police initially thought Bradford Jr. was responsible for shooting two people but later retracted that statement. (Emantic Bradford, Sr. via AP)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Attorneys for relatives of a black man who was shot and killed by police who mistook him for a suspect in a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall on Thanksgiving said Friday they have seen some police video documenting the gunfire.

A lawyer for the family, Ben Crump, said state authorities allowed his team to see the video last week on condition they keep its contents confidential.

But, Crump said, the “very brief portion” of video they saw was consistent with a private medical examiner’s findings that Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. was shot three times from behind.

Bradford did have a gun, Crump said in a statement, but his family has been told it was never fired.

Bradford, 21, was fatally shot by police following a shooting in which another man is now charged with attempted murder. Protesters have staged near-daily demonstrations over his death.

A statement from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said representatives met last week with local prosecutors in addition to three lawyers representing Bradford’s family, which has repeatedly called for the public release of the video.

“ALEA was in agreement with all parties present that the substance of the meeting be kept confidential,” the agency’s statement said. “Out of respect for the Bradford family and to remain true to its word, ALEA will continue to honor this agreement.”

While police initially blamed Bradford for opening fire at the mall, another black man, Erron Brown, 20, was later arrested on an attempted murder charge in the shooting of Brian Xavier Wilson, 18. A 12-year-old girl was also wounded in the shooting.

Brown’s attorney, Charles Salvagio, has denied that Brown was the instigator in the violence, which he described as an “ongoing thing” between participants who knew each other.

While a judge has ordered authorities to turn over evidence to Salvagio, the lawyer said he still hasn’t seen any video.

“What I want to know is why the civil attorneys, the money attorneys, were able to see the video before me,” he said. “My guy is facing serious charges, and it seems like they would let us see it at the same time.”

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