Civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Monday filed a lawsuit against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and the Hoover Police Department on behalf of Bradford’s parent in a county court, AL.com reported. The lawsuit accused Alabama of refusing to turn over critical evidence from its investigation of the cop who gunned down Bradford on Thanksgiving night.
The Alabama NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama joined the lawsuit, which demands the release of all police body camera and surveillance footage of the incident along with documents that include the officers’ names.
In February, Marshall informed Bradford’s family that he cleared the still unidentified officer of criminal wrongdoing. However, Marshall refused to allow the family to see the evidence that he reviewed in deciding not to charge the officer.
“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…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?” Crump said in a press release.
The officer shot Bradford while responding to a mall shooting, gunning down the Black man on sight based on apparent instinctive and implicit racial bias. Police announced immediately after the killing that Bradford was the mall shooter before reversing course and admitting later that Bradford’s gun had actually not been fired.
In December, a private autopsy showed that the cop shot Bradford three times from behind. The revelation prompted Bradford’s family to renew demands for charges against the officer, which have been ignored.
The investigation into the shooting was led by the State Bureau of Investigation and involved witness reports, cell phone videos taken by shoppers, mall surveillance video, body cam video, text messages, and social media posts.
If Marshall has his way, Bradford’s family will never have the opportunity to see for themselves exactly what led to their son’s death.