HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Four people were arrested Friday during a protest inside the Riverchase Galleria where a 21-year-old man was shot and killed by police during Thanksgiving shopping three years ago.
The mall in suburban Birmingham was the site of a 2018 police shooting where an officer fatally shot a Black man after mistaking him for the gunman in an earlier shooting at the mall.
Twenty-one-year old Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr. was killed in the Thanksgiving night shooting that brought weeks of protests in Hoover. Bradford had drawn a gun and began running after his friend was shot by another person.
News outlets reported that several protesters walked through the Black Friday crowds at the Galleria chanting, “Hoover murdered EJ. Don’t shop here.”
Hoover police Capt. Keith Czeskleba told al.com that four protesters were asked by Galleria security officers to leave the mall and were arrested for trespassing after they refused to do so.
The state’s attorney general cleared the officer in the shooting and did not present the case to a grand jury.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the officer mistakenly believed Bradford fired the earlier shots and the officer was still justified in shooting him because of the threat he posed. The announcement drew outrage from the slain man’s family, who said the officer jumped to conclusions when he saw a young black man with a gun.