Birmingham, Ej Bradford, Benjamin Crump Crump discussed on All Things Considered
From NPR news. This is all things considered. I'm Mary Louise Kelley Audie Cornish now to Alabama and the fatal police shooting of a black man at a shopping mall on thanksgiving at first police said the young man was the gunman and that he had wounded two people. The next day. Authorities said they were mistaken. The real gunman was still on the loose as g g do ban of member station. W H M reports frustration is mounting across Birmingham. One thing is clear. Twenty one year old EJ Bradford was at the crowded mall and had a handgun. The former army veteran was seen fleeing holding the gun after a fight broke out and the shooting began police shot and killed him. An investigation by state. Authorities is underway today in the Birmingham suburb of Huey town. Where Bradford grew up. There was a mixture of shock and anger. Tyler Simpson is a senior at Huey town high school this stuff you see on TV and in other states. I never thought. Like, you would see that here in Birmingham. I feel like if he would have been white things would have been different. The Bradford family is now represented by the high profile civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump Crump says the Hoover police officer who shot Bradford at the mall that night reacted. Because of just one thing the color of his skin black, man, we're for good. May his determination that he must be a criminal Crump says when police are looking to sort out good guys with guns versus bad guys. It's not a surprise people often see black men as bad guys and for many here in Birmingham. This police killing brings back painful part of Alabama history. People are very upset here because this is the cradle of civil rights. This is where many of the civil rights protests began and now we're back there. That's Eric Gusta a civil and criminal law attorney in Birmingham as a black man. He gets clammy hens if he's dealing with police as a regular person, not a lawyer, he's also a gun owner, and he says in a situation like Bradford's he'd be reluctant to pull out his gun to defend himself for fear he'd be perceived as a threat, but according to several eyewitness accounts and reports on social media several other people had their guns drawn that night and ran in fear. This is Al. Obama the land of the gun on the hip, so it's not far fetched for dozens of people to have their guns wrong when their shots being fired. But the ones who will be safest in those situations aren't black. He says many African Americans say they take extra precautions Carmen Owens has spent time in prison, and is now a counselor in Birmingham anytime he encounters the police there's a protocol watch how you speak don't make sudden movements. I clearly confirmed two and three times before I reach for my wallet. I shouldn't have to do this. But this allows me to be home safe to my family EJ. Bradford's family says if police hadn't automatically assumed he was a threat he might have come home to his family the night of thanksgiving too. For NPR news. I'm GD do ban in Birmingham. Hundreds of thousands of veterans have so called bad paper, meaning they received other than honorable discharges. Now that used to mean, no benefits, no healthcare from the department of veterans affairs. Even when the problems that got them kicked out of the military were linked to combat trauma. The VA has changed its policy at now. Let's these veterans get mental health care. One state has gone even further NPR's quil. Lawrence reports from Connecticut, Northfield congregational is a little white and New England church with a steeple just north of Westport, Connecticut. And about a dozen kids are here for an after school program. Thomas Burke is the youth minister. And he speaks their language. Cafo? All. This is miraculous in Berks estimation. He never thought he'd be able to work with kids because my PTSD stems from a traumatic event where I failed children Burke served in the Marine Corps in two thousand eight he lost a close friend in Iraq and came home, troubled. He thought about suicide but better still another combat deployment within the same year..