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Family of man killed by police sues Alabama AG, police dept.

By Darryl Coote

March 11 (UPI) -- The family of a man fatally shot by police last Thanksgiving is suing the police department and Alabama's attorney general over the incident.

The lawsuit filed Monday with Jefferson County comes more than a month after Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office said it would not prosecute the Hoover Police Department officer who shot Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr.

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The attorney general's report said the officer "reasonably exercised" his power when he shot Bradford three times, viewing him as "an immediate deadly threat to innocent civilians."

A day after the shooting, Hoover police said Bradford was probably not the gunman they were trying to apprehend at the time, Birmingham Real-time News reported.

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A press release by the ACLU of Alabama announcing the lawsuit Monday cited witnesses who said Bradford was trying to "protect people during an active shooting" when he was shot by an unnamed police officer.

"First they killed my son, then they gave us some ridiculous explanation, now they want us to trust their version of what happened," father Emantic Bradford Sr. said in a statement. "That is simply not going to happen. They owe me so much in exchange for my son's life, and at the very least they owe me the truth."

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The coalition of Bradford's parents, family attorney Ben Crump, the ACLU of Alabama and Alabama NAACP is suing Marshall for police body camera footage and documents as he refused to fulfill a Public Records Request, saying their release would negatively impact the personal safety of law enforcement officials.

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"It's ludicrous and insulting that the state of Alabama thinks we should simply take their word about what happened, without letting us see the full and unedited video footage and without releasing the officer's name who killed E.J.," Crump said. "In a state with the racial history of Alabama, why would anyone believe their account of a white officer shooting a black man, especially when they're trying to hide some of the evidence?"

On top of the lawsuit, the civil rights groups have filed a public records request for information on implicit bias policies and training, use-of-force policies and training and guidelines for active shooter situations, which the Hoover Police Department agreed to produce, the ACLU of Alabama said.

"E.J.'s family and the people of Alabama deserve transparency and accountability from the police department responsible for the death of an innocent black man," said ACLU of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall. "It's repugnant that Attorney General Marshall is hiding behind unfounded claims that transparency would endanger law enforcement when refusing to disclose the footage and documents we requested."

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