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.
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As President Trump sends troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to "defend" (white) America against the caravans of Brown people and bar some from asylum in the U.S., the history of hiring undocumented workers at his properties in New Jersey and Florida continues to come to light.
Trump has a problem with undocumented immigrants seeking asylum, but not when they are hired to wash his clothes or make his bed.
The Trump administration is creating a narrative that refugees escaping violence and poverty in Central America and seeking asylum are dangerous.
Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, reportedly crossed the border in 1999 and has worked at the at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J, since 2013, The New York Times reported Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for his business organization, she would be one of tens of thousands of people to be employed by Trump, and would be terminated if she was undocumented. Sandra Diaz, 46, from Costa Rica was another.
Both Morales and Diaz, during their stints, washed the Trump family's clothes in a special detergent, made beds and dusted.
"There are many people without papers," said Ms. Diaz, who said she witnessed several people being hired whom she knew to be undocumented.
Morales was initially pleased with her job because she was paid and tipped well, often times by Trump. But her sentiments changed when he ran for president.
"I'm tired of being humiliated and treated like a stupid person," she said in Spanish during a brief interview. "We're just immigrants who don't have papers."
During his campaign in 2016, when he referred to Mexicans as rapists and criminals, he promised to mandate E-Verify, a federal tool to verify employment eligibility, and requested $23 million in his 2019 budget proposal to expand the program for nationwide use. He also bragged when a new Trump hotel opened in Washington, "We didn't have one illegal immigrant on the job."
"The president has been half-serious about stopping illegal immigration by not taking away the jobs magnet," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group pushing to reduce immigration. Beck said Trump has "let us down in his promise to help American workers" because he hasn't "put his shoulder behind a mandatory E-Verify bill."
Trump signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order in 2017 restricting visas, but his Mar-a-Lago golf club also has a history of applying for H-2B visas for hundreds of immigrant workers. The H-2B visa is for "temporary non-agricultural workers."
Morales reports being driven to work by staff to hide the fact that she couldn't legally drive, and that after she presented fake papers for work, she was given another set of fake papers by the Trump Organization to keep her employed there.
Morales had a front row seat on the job to Trump meetings as she was cleaning his villa, even when potential cabinet members were interviewed and when he met with the White House chief of staff.
But that didn't come without experiencing verbal abuse from Trump's staff.
Her attorney Anibal Romero said in a statement Thursday that his clients were called racial epithets and threatened with deportation by a supervisor that ironically, "had employed them despite knowing their undocumented status and even provided them with forged documents."
"We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money," she told the NY Times. "We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation."
Reader Question: Do we need any more proof that he's a liar about everything?
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