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Alabama Police Shot E.J. Bradford In The Back Like They Were In A Gangster Movie

Post-Racial America

More information was released about the police shooting of a black man at an Alabama mall in November. Emantic Bradford Jr. was shot three times from behind, according to a forensic examination his family commissioned. This is the type of expense you can expect to incur when you can't trust the cops. Most black people have separate savings accounts set aside for this purpose.

The examination results reveal that Bradford was shot in his back, the back of his head, and the back of his neck. Very few back-related areas were missed. You normally don't see cops on TV shooting people in the back because it's gross. This is the type of gangland-style slaying you see in mobster movies. Even then audiences will cry out, "No, Tommy, don't go into that room! You're not getting made!"


Bradford's family held a news conference Monday with their attorney Benjamin Crump and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Crump suggested that the officer who shot Bradford should be charged with a crime.

"There's nothing that justifies [the officer] shooting EJ as he's moving away from him. You're not a threat when you're running away," Crump continued. "If that was anybody else who shot somebody three times in the back, it would be justified that they be charged with murder."

Unfortunately, it's not that simple, because "anybody else" didn't kill Bradford. A police officer did, and there's a very thick blue line between "my bad" and "murder." The Birkenstock-wearing Supreme Court ruled in 1985's Tennessee vs. Garner that shooting fleeing suspects violates their constitutional rights, especially when done out of season. However, officers are allowed to use lethal force if they reasonably believe the suspect is an immediate threat to themselves and bystanders. Police in Hoover, Alabama, will likely argue that everything was topsy-turvy at the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night. Shots were fired, a gunman was on the premises, and in all the confusion, the police shot the man who witnesses claim was "directing shoppers to safety." The police aren't psychic. How can they tell a good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun if the "good guy" is black? This wasn't covered in the training.

Bradford's family has responded to all this about as well as you'd expect when your loved one was shot multiple times in the back and publicly accused for a day or so of attempted murder. Emantic Bradford Sr. called the unnamed officer who shot his son a "coward" who "destroyed his family."

The police won't release video of the shooting because they've been advised it could "compromise" the investigation. This doesn't make a lot of sense. They've expressed a "commitment to be fully transparent," but it seems like they're just expressing the commitment rather than acting on it. I mean, anyone can just express a commitment. The appearance of a cover-up also isn't the best method of managing community outrage to the shooting. Around two dozen people demonstrated outside the AMC Patton Creek movie theater in Hoover Sunday night. Police officers prevented the protestors from going inside, probably because the movie playing wasn't any good.

Undeterred, activist Carlos Chaverst Jr. claimed that protesters would "go to schools and to police officer's homes." That's not a smart move. It's a good way to go from "living protestor" to "dead terrorist."

"You are aiding and abetting in a terrorist act," Chaverst said to the officers. "We're going to come (to) every single place we need to until the terrorist on this police department is identified."

That just ensures the authorities won't identify the officer. No one wants him and his family harassed. Sensible people just want justice for Bradford. It's not everything, but at least the actual guilty party from the Thanksgiving shooting will face charges. Erron Martez Dequan Brown was apprehended in Georgia late last week and returned to Alabama yesterday. He shares responsibility for Bradford's unfortunate death, but I fear he'll legally assume that responsibility alone.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins runs from March through May at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo.

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The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

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Wikimedia

Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

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