Bradford Funeral a Celebration and Call to Action

Posted by .

 1461444684 
1543685561
Emantic Bradford Jr. Funeral

Source: Andrew Yeager,WBHM

There was plenty of one thing at the funeral of Emantic “E.J.” Bradord, Jr. – hugs.

Volunteers with Rock City Church stood in the lobby of Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham Saturday morning holding boxes of tissues and offering hugs as funeral attendees entered the building. The service was a celebration of Bradford’s life, but the controversy of how it ended was never far behind.

Police in Hoover shot the 21-year-old black man on Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria. They initially identified Bradford as the gunman before later saying it was “unlikely” Bradford fired the shots that left two people wounded. On Thursday, police arrested 20-year-old Erron Martez Dequan Brown for the shooting.

Friends speaking at the funeral remembered Bradford as a loyal friend who could always be counted on. But he was also not above a bit of mischief, such as taking his mother’s car without permission.

Bradford’s father, Emantic Bradford, Sr., recalled watching Batman marathons on TV with him as a kid. When Bradford, Sr. was diagnosed with cancer, he says Bradford became a caregiver and a great source of encouragement.

“The years that I had with him were 21 good years,” Bradford, Sr. says. “He’s always going to be my hero.”

Bradford’s death has sparked protest and marches calling on police to release body camera video and other footage of the incident. Investigators have so far declined to do so.

Protest organizer Carlos Chaverst, Jr. told the audience he will continue pushing police to release video and other evidence.

“We’re going to fight when this matter becomes less trendy,” Chaverst says. “We’re going to fight with every single thing in us.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson delivers the eulogy for Emantic "EJ" Bradford, Jr.
Rev. Jesse Jackson delivers the eulogy for Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr.
Andrew Yeager,WBHM

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who delivered Bradford’s eulogy, echoed the call for police transparency. He called Bradford a martyr and tied his death to the history of slavery and civil rights. He also referenced police shootings of black men and shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October and at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015.

“His blood will not have been shed in vain. He will live as long as we remember him,” Jackson says. “We will not forget him.”

Andrew Yeager

Andrew Yeager

Host/Reporter



Family of Emantic Bradford Jr. Renews Calls for Transparency
02-20-2019

The family of a man killed by police in a Thanksgiving mall shooting wants authorities to release all video footage and the name of the officer involved.

What the DOJ Review Could Mean for Bradford Shooting Investigation
02-11-2019

The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the case of the Hoover police officer who shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. on Thanksgiving. To help us unpack this, we turned to former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance.

Officials Won’t Name Hoover Officer Involved in Shooting. Why Not?
02-7-2019

Officials still have not released the name of the police officer who shot and killed a 21-year-old black man at the Riverchase Galleria mall. The attorney general cleared the officer of any wrongdoing. Should authorities release his name?

Protests Move To Montgomery, Hoover Mayor Speaks Out
02-6-2019

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato says the city plans to defend the unidentified officer who shot and killed Emantic Bradford Jr. in any future civil litigation. Meanwhile, outraged protesters demonstrate outside of the state attorney general’s office in Montgomery.

AG Steve Marshall Explains Why He Cleared Hoover Officer in Fatal Shooting
02-6-2019

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office spent more than two months investigating the shooting death of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. at the hands of a Hoover police officer. Marshall released the findings of his investigation and explained to WBHM why he won’t prosecute the officer.