Activists focusing on Alabama officials after mall shooting

FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2018, file frame from video, April Pipkins holds a photograph of her deceased son, Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr., during an interview in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Thursday, Dec. 13, that his office is taking over the investigation into the police killing of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., a black man inside the state’s largest shopping mall on Thanksgiving night. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Demonstrations that have targeted an Alabama city where police shot and killed a black man on Thanksgiving will be redirected toward state officials now investigating the shooting, organizers said Wednesday.

Leaders speaking at a news conference said demonstrations targeting the Birmingham suburb of Hoover would now focus on state officials who are investigating the shooting death of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr.

They promised protests at the homes and offices of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. A spokesman for Marshall, Alabama’s top law enforcement official, declined comment.

The change follows a meeting in which protest spokesman Iva Williams said officials in the city of Hoover agreed to consider several requests made by demonstrators, including the addition of a citizens review board and a diversity officer.

Protest leader Carlos Chaverst Jr. said demonstrations were being halted temporarily in the city “in expectation the city of Hoover will do the things they told us they would do”

City officials did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

An officer fatally shot Bradford after hearing gunfire at Hoover’s Riverchase Galleria mall. Bradford had a gun and the officer shot after seeing it, but Bradford wasn’t responsible for a shooting that wounded two people, authorities said.

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