An Alabama police officer who fired shots that killed a 21-year-old man on Thanksgiving night at a mall outside of Birmingham will not face charges.
State Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Tuesday that his investigation found the officer did not break the law and will not be charged in the death of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr.
Bradford's shooting at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover happened in the immediate aftermath of gunfire at the mall, to which the officer — who has not been identified — was responding.
The attorney general's report says the officer mistakenly believed Bradford had fired the earlier shots and was justified in shooting him. The officer saw Bradford running toward the shooting scene with a gun and believed he was trying to kill the shooting victim, according to the report.
The facts of the case demonstrate that the officer "reasonably exercised his official powers, duties, or functions when he shot E. J. Bradford on the night of Nov. 22, 2018," the report states. Accordingly, Alabama law declares his action “justified and not criminal.”
Two bystanders — Brian Wilson, 18, and Molly Davis, 12, were also injured by the gunfire.
Erron Brown, 20, was charged in November with attempted murder in the shooting of Wilson that happened before the officer opened fire on Bradford.
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Bradford's killing sparked weeks of protest last year.
Crump said that race played a role in Bradford's death and that a civil lawsuit claiming wrongful death will be filed.
"All across America, you see this symbiotic relationship between prosecutors and law enforcement that when they kill unarmed people of color or they kill people of color who are posing no threats, and they shot first and ask questions later," Crump said.
Janelle Griffith is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.