The Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered the eulogy on Saturday at the funeral service in Birmingham, Alabama of Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr., where the veteran civil rights leader demanded “justice now” from officials in the nearby city of Hoover where an unnamed officer gunned down Bradford on Thanksgiving night in a shopping mall.
“We will have the tape made public. We want transparency, not coverup. Tell the whole story, tell it now. We want justice now. We want fairness now,” Jackson said, according to AL.com.
Bradford, 21, was legally armed and brandishing his gun reportedly to save lives in the mall shooting that was started by someone else. A Hoover police officer shot Bradford on sight, apparently because of implicit racial bias.
It was immediately announced that Bradford was the mall shooter, as officials dragged his good name through the mud. Authorities later admitted their avoidable error when it was learned that Bradford’s gun had not been fired.
The arrest of the actual suspect came Thursday.
Meanwhile, authorities continued refusing to identify the officer involved in the shooting or release video of the incident.
More than 1,000 mourners attended Bradford’s funeral at the historic Boutwell Auditorium. The family had an open casket service and allowed those who attended to view his body, as they honored his life and memory. Bradford was a member of Rock City Church, which streamed the service.
Here are social media posts from the service: