Alabama attorney general takes over probe into police shooting at mall

Alabama’s attorney general said Thursday he is taking over the case involving Emantic Bradford Jr., a black man who was shot and killed by police at a mall on Thanksgiving.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall wrote a letter to Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, who had been overseeing the investigation, relieving him of his role in the case.

“While I have no reason to believe that you are actually biased or compromised, I agree that other fair-minded persons might question your neutrality based on the information that you provided in the letter and during our private conversations,” Marshall said in the letter, according to CNN.

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Marshall cited Carr’s connections to the Hoover police officer involved in the shooting and to protesters who have spoken out since the incident.

Bradford was shot at a Hoover, Ala., mall in the evening on Thanksgiving by a police officer working as mall security who was responding to a shooting that left two people injured.

The Hoover Police Department said Bradford brandished a gun in the mall following the shooting, which “heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene.”

However, Bradford’s family attorney Ben Crump said witnesses reported Bradford was helping patrons at the mall when he was shot by the officer.

An independent autopsy commissioned by the family later revealed that Bradford was shot three times in the back.

The officer who shot Bradford, who has yet to be identified, was either the charging officer or a witness in 20 other unrelated cases handled by the district attorney, Marshall said in his letter.

"On the flip side,” he wrote, ”you acknowledge personal relationships with some of the (protesters) who are calling for the officer who shot Mr. Bradford to be criminally prosecuted, which could lead a fair-minded person to question your bias in favor of indictment," the letter said.