As protests cripple the affluent Alabama town where a police officer shot and killed a black man on Thanksgiving night, the state’s attorney general has taken over the investigation, removing the first black man to serve as district attorney in the state’s largest county.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sent a letter to Jefferson County D.A. Danny Carr, notifying Carr that he was removing Carr from the ongoing investigation concerning the mall shooting that left 21-year-old Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. dead.
Marshall’s reasons for removing Carr from leading the investigation had nothing to do with anyone involved in the shooting. Instead, Marshall cited a Facebook photo posted by Carlos Chaverst Jr., who has been leading the protests seeking justice and transparency in the wake of Bradford’s death, according to AL.com.
On Nov. 7, Chaverst posted two photos of him congratulating Carr after Carr won the election, becoming the first black male district attorney elected in Jefferson County, Alabama. In 2017, Chaverst, a local activist, helped gain signatures for a petition asking Alabama’s governor to appoint Carr to the vacant position until the election.
“While I have no reason to believe that you are actually biased or compromised, I agree that other fair-minded persons might question your neutrality based on the information that you provided in the letter and during our private conversations,” the Attorney General wrote in a letter to Carr, CNN reports.
To be clear, Chaverst and protesters are not involved with the case. Carr told Yellowhammer News in an email that he hasn’t discussed the case with Chaverst and explained:
Carlos and I aren’t friends. We don’t talk very much at all or have casual conversation on the phone. We don’t hang out or attend dinner, movies or none of that type of activity. However I know Carlos thru community involvement and neighborhood projects over the years.
Setting his troll level to stun, Chaverst responded to the attorney general’s announcement by posting this photo to Facebook:
The continuing Chaverst-led protests have paralyzed the predominately white town of Hoover, Ala., angering many of the city’s residents and forcing the city to enlist officers from neighboring towns to participate in a nightly game of whack-a-mole, as law enforcement officials try to suppress what Chaverst described to The Root as “pop-up protests.”
So far, the demonstrations have shut down an interstate, closed the biggest movie theater in the city, popped up on the mayor’s lawn, shut down an affluent golf resort, turned the area’s largest mall into a ghost town, and caused the cancellation of the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Chaverst told The Root protesters are demanding the full release of all video, the firing of the police officer who accused Bradford of opening fire in the mall, the resignation of Hoover’s mayor, and the release of the name of the officer who shot Bradford.
Minutes after Bradford was killed, a Hoover Police Department spokesman held a press conference and said Bradford was killed after he opened fire in the crowded Riverchase Galleria mall. The HPD recanted the allegations the next day.
A preliminary autopsy report revealed that Bradford was shot three times from behind. The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, was allowed to view what he called a “very bad” portion of video that he said confirmed the autopsy results.
While the protests have not turned violent, police officers have begun removing their name tags and badge numbers when they work the protests. So far, they have arrested six protesters on charges of disorderly conduct and loitering while wearing a mask.
Chaverst was arrested early Tuesday evening on four disorderly conduct and loitering warrants stemming from the protests and given a $2,000 bail. His bond was posted soon after and he was released ...
Just in time for that evening’s protest at the police department.