Alabama Mall Shooting Suspect Arrested After Police Shoot, Kill Wrong Man
Alabama law enforcement says releasing video footage is premature, but police were real quick to release inaccurate information about the wrongly accused — and dead — Black hero.
Erron Martez Dequan Brown, age 20, was arrested on Thursday as a suspect in the shooting at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Alabama last week. Emantic "EJ" Bradford, Jr., who was moving people out of the line of fire, was shot and killed by police because they initially claimed that he was the shooter.
Police now say that Brown got into an altercation with 18-year-old Brian Xavier Wilson and shot him in the stomach as well as a 12-year-old bystander. Both victims were treated at hospitals.
Ben Crump, the Bradford family lawyer, has requested video footage of the incident to show that the officers were negligent in assessing the situation and prematurely judging Bradford as a criminal. They didn't recognize him as an ally moving bystanders to safety away from the original altercation.
Police dragged Bradford's name in the mud after shooting him. They said he brandished a gun. But Bradford actually had a license to carry a weapon.
Although premature information about Bradford was allowed to be released, ironically, police said releasing a video of the incident would be premature in the current investigation.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) spokeswoman Robyn Bryan said: "It is highly likely that prematurely releasing information, including video evidence, would have hampered the investigation's progress thus far, even to the point of deterring key witnesses. As other witnesses continue to come forward, it is imperative for the integrity of the investigation that SBI continue to keep confidential information Agents obtain."
This disparity in treatment comes from a government agency in a state that contributes little to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2017, the state of Alabama had a lower GDP per capita ($36,796) than the U.S. average ($53,128.54); and a lower GDP growth rate (1.3 percent) than the U.S. average (2.3 percent).
During a meeting with officials at the prayer vigil for Bradford on Tuesday, the family said law enforcement offered a "borderline" apology for Bradford's killing, meanwhile the mayor was crying.
Brandford's father said that he "kind of" accepted the apology given by Police Chief Nick Derzis.
"I know he has people to report to, including the mayor," he said. I'll let them work that out."
Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson, who attended and helped coordinate the meeting, said "The mayor was shaking like a leaf."
Activists have said they will shut down the city, if needed, to bring justice. Protests have already occurred on Monday and Tuesday.
"You know me. We're going to continue doing what we're doing. We're going to continue our peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience,'' said Carlos Chaverst. "If we have to shut down the entire city of Hoover, we will do that. And if we have to stop everybody in Hoover from spending another dime here, we will do that. We will do whatever we need to do to bring more attention, more awareness and more justice."
Crump issued this statement following the arrest of Brown: "We are gratified at the arrest of a suspect in the Thanksgiving Riverchase Galleria mall shooting, further underscoring the unjust death of EJ Bradford Jr. at the hands of an off-duty Hoover police officer who was serving as mall security. Right now, EJ's family is focused on planning their son's funeral, to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Boutwell Memorial Auditorium. They look forward to reviewing unaltered video evidence of the shooting next week, after properly remembering and honoring EJ and enduring the painful process of burying their son."
Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr said while charges have been brought against Brown, the state investigation is not complete and remains ongoing.
"We are confident ALEA is working to complete the investigation in a timely manner,'' Carr said. "However, in light of the fact that so many people were present in the mall that evening, witness interviews are still ongoing."
"Once Brown's extradition from Georgia has been affirmed, Brown will be booked into the Jefferson County Jail, Birmingham, under a $150,000 bond. Additional charges are expected as the investigation progresses," authorities said.
Anyone with information regarding the Galleria shooting is asked to call ALEA at 334-462-9163.
"The Second Amendment was not made for Black folks," said Noah.
Christopher Paul Hasson's intended targets included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Cory Booker and CNN's Don Lemon.
Authorities have arrested Christopher Paul Hasson, a 49-year-old coast guard lieutenant, who intended to conduct a mass killing.
Hasson is a self-proclaimed white nationalist who had a detailed plan to execute prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC. He devised his plan with inspiration from Anders Breivik, who successfully completed terrorist attacks in 2011 that killed 77 people in Norway.
In order to get prepared to carry out his mission, Hasson accumulated steroids and human growth hormone "to increase his ability to conduct attacks," as outlined in Breivik's manifesto.
According to court documents filed on Tuesday, Hasson intended "to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."
Documents also state that "the defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct."
A spokesman for the US Coast Guard Headquarters, Barry Lane stated, "An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice."
Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time.
While the master plan was to "kill almost every last person on the earth," his current hit list consisted of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Kamala Harris of California, as well as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas. Journalists on the list included CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.
When law enforcement agents searched Hasson's house, they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Hasson is scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday for a hearing.
Proud Boys is a far-right, extremist group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
On Monday, President Trump gave a speech in Miami to his supporters, and a member of the Proud Boys — who wore a "Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong!" T-shirt — sat in a prime spot behind him.
Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher, asked the student why he continues to live in the U.S., "if it's so bad here."
"I'm a Christian evangelical, I grew up in the Christian faith, and one of the most clear public policies that you're supposed to engage in as a just society is fairness toward the strangers, immigrants," Barber said.
The NAACP and Rev. Dr. William Barber called out evangelical Christians who back President Donald Trump's family separation policy, and called the policy racist.
"We see this happening," Barber said, "and this attack on children — we know it's brown children, it wouldn't be happening if it wasn't brown children at the southern border — is white supremacy, white nationalism, being implemented in our public policy right in front of our faces."
"I will take your photo and send it to ICE. You don't belong here," said the attacker.
Free Daily Newsletter
We won't share your email with anyone.
Williams is taking a stand to prevent the mistreatment of women of color by law enforcement.
Georgia State Sen. Nikema Williams, the first Black woman elected to lead the state's Democratic party, was jailed last year for just standing among protesters at the state Capitol. Williams is now taking a stand to prevent the mistreatment of women of color by law enforcement.