By Frederick H. Lowe
Police in Alabama shot to death a Black man with a gun, making it the second time this month that police have shot and killed a black man with a gun. In each case, police later admitted that they killed the wrong Black man. Also, they killed men who were risking their lives to save others.
Police in Alabama and Illinois, where the deadly shootings occurred, have apologized to the victims’ families. And in what appears to be a growing trend, they refused to identify the officers involved except to say they were White.
The most-recent shooting occurred in Hoover, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb, on November 22 when two men got into a fight. One of the men pulled a gun and shot the other twice.
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., a 21-year old U.S. Army veteran armed with a pistol, was attempting to keep innocent bystanders away from the fight when a police officer seeing his gun, shot and killed him.
A day later, police admitted they shot and killed the wrong person and that the actual gunman got away.
On November 11 in Midlothan, Illinois, police shot to death Jemel Roberson, a security guard at a Robbins, Illinois, tavern, who had subdued a gunman firing at indiscriminately at bar patrons only to be killed by a policeman called to help.
Bradford’s family hired Benjamin Crump, a Florida attorney, who appeared on MSNBC to take questions concerning the deadly shooting. Crump linked the two shootings.
When police see a Black man with a gun, they shoot first and ask questions later, Crump said.
The explanations by both police departments are eerily similar. They claim that when they saw the guns, they feared for their lives, but it’s Roberson and Bradford who are dead.