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MONTGOMERY, Ala.— The parents of a black man killed by a police officer who mistook him for a shooter at a shopping mall joined chanting protesters outside the Alabama attorney general's office Wednesday, a day after the state cleared the officer of wrongdoing.
The mother, father and grandmother of Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. accompanied other demonstrators in front of Attorney General Steve Marshall's office in Montgomery.
Demonstrators chanted "Hands up, don't shoot" as they walked across the grounds.
"My son was murdered. There is no way you can clean it up," said Emantic Bradford Sr., who has publicly accused authorities of covering up details of his son's death.
EJ Bradford was killed by a police officer responding to a shooting at a shopping mall in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover on Thanksgiving night. Marshall's report said the officer mistook Bradford for the gunman, but was still justified in the shooting because Bradford was running with a handgun drawn.
At a news conference, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said the shooting caused anxiety for the whole city, where days of protests were held afterward.
"We're relieved to have this report in front of us now," said Brocato, who wouldn't comment on details of the probe.
While no civil lawsuit has been filed over Bradford's death, the city will pay for the legal defense for the officer in any litigation, Brocato said.
Authorities haven't released the name of the officer, who was taken off patrol following the shooting.
"The officer will go through a process of returning to work," Brocato said, and the city will conduct its own review.
The shooting happened at the Riverchase Galleria in suburban Birmingham as Black Friday shopping began. The state review showed that Bradford didn't shoot his gun, but that the officer was still justified in opening fire.
Demonstrators burned U.S. flags outside Hoover City Hall after the state's decision.