Hoover Council President responds to AG's report finding Galleria shooting "justifiable"


    Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato’s office says it received Attorney General Steve Marshall’s report, finding the officer who killed EJ Bradford inside the Galleria Thanksgiving night was justified in his actions.

    The mayor’s office said it plans to release a statement Wednesday in response.

    Hoover Council President Gene Smith says he trusts the state's investigation and its findings.

    He says the city stands with this police officer one hundred percent.

    “He’s a Hoover police officer now and I expect nothing less but for him to continue to be a law enforcement officer in Hoover,” Smith said.

    Smith acknowledged the Bradford family may file a civil lawsuit and he says the city should protect the officer.

    “Obviously, the first thing is going to be is funding,” Smith said. “We’re going to fund for the protection of the officer. We’re going to acquire whatever legal defense is necessary to protect him. I believe that it’s fully justifiable to do so and it should be expected. I think our community would be 110 percent behind making sure this officer stays whole financially, when it comes. He’s going to determine his own future. Personally, I hope when this is all over that in 30 years, he can retire and take his insurance with him and find a nice beach to live on.”

    Smith says now that the investigation is complete, the community needs healing. He wants Hoover leaders to help lead a conversation about race not only in Hoover, but in the region.

    “It’s going to involve a lot of conversation,” Smith said. “This is not something that’s going to be dealt with easily or quickly.”

    We asked Smith his message for the Bradford family.

    “I’m very sorry,” he said. “Had it been my son, I may feel just as passionate as they do. But at some point, if you’re honest with yourself and you look at the actions of Mr. Bradford, young Mr. Bradford, there were a number of decisions made that day- outside of that of the police officer- that had people chosen other paths, I think the young man would still be here today.”

    Smith welcomes the officer’s continued service in the Hoover Police force.

    “He may want to move to another division,” Smith said. “He might want to become a school resource officer. He might want to become an investigator. There’s really no telling at this point. But that’s between he and the chief.”

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