The family of a man killed by police in an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving night renewed calls on Monday for the release of any video footage from the shooting and asked the state attorney general to meet with them.
The parents of Emantic "E.J." Bradford, Jr. pleaded for "transparency" in the investigation in the killing of their son by a police officer responding to gunfire inside the Riverchase Galleria mall more than two months ago. The probe is being led by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Police initially described Bradford as the gunman but later said they were mistaken.
"All I’m asking for is the truth," April Pipkins, Bradford's mother, said Monday. "I want to know what happened."
Erron Brown, 20, was charged in November with attempted murder in the shooting that preceded the killing.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the victim's family, said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who will handle any prosecution to come, "has put forth that the video doesn’t tell the whole story."
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"This is astonishing to us when we think about the number of people in our community who they have arrested, charged and convicted with a video," Crump told reporters. "So why is it different now that E.J. Bradford is lying dead on the ground and we know that the police officer shot him as he was running away?"
Crump has said he has seen a brief portion of video from about the time Bradford was shot and it was consistent with the findings of an independent autopsy, which showed the 21-year-old was struck three times from behind — in the head, neck and back.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office, which took over the investigation from the local district attorney, told NBC News on Monday it had no comment.
Crump compared this police-involved shooting to the case involving Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African American who was fatally shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. McDonald's killing was captured on a dashboard camera that was not released for a year by authorities. Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times, was sentenced this month to nearly seven years in prison. Three fellow police officers who were accused of attempting to cover up his crime were acquitted.
"In Laquan McDonald, they held the video for a year, when it was clear as day, the first hour anybody saw that video, you knew what the truth was," Crump said Monday. "But they were trying to cover up for the police officers."
He questioned whether the same was happening in Alabama.
"That’s what this community and these parents are questioning," the lawyer said. "The lack of transparency makes us believe that they’re being nefarious and they’re trying to cover up something."
Crump and Bradford's family also pleaded on Monday for police to release the identity of the officer who shot and killed Bradford.
"This the largest mall in the state of Alabama," Crump said, adding that he refuses to believe that there are not "multiple angles" of video footage available.
"I will tell you this, if it showed E.J. Bradford doing anything wrong, that video would have been released already," Crump said.