Hoover officials will not release Riverchase Galleria shooting video during the investigation, per ALEA’s request
At the request of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), Hoover officials will not release video footage of the Thanksgiving Riverchase Galleria shooting prior to the conclusion of the State Bureau of Investigation’s work.
In the City of Hoover and the Hoover Police Department’s joint weekly update on Monday regarding the shooting that resulted in the death of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford, Hoover officials said they are respecting the requests of ALEA to not release any information at the risk of compromising the justice process for everyone involved.
Their press release added, “As an investigated party, we are committed to cooperating with ALEA in order to maintain the integrity of their investigation, so the complete truth can be established about the events that transpired on November 22nd.”
This comes after a Thursday morning press conference in which city officials requested that ALEA release the video and pertinent information or allow the city itself to do so. The officials had given ALEA a deadline of Monday to respond to their request.
Hoover Chief of Police Nick Derzis released the following statement:
On Saturday, December 1, 2018, Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor communicated in writing to Mayor Brocato and myself his agency’s stance on the premature release of any critical information in regards to their investigation. Secretary Taylor reiterated the importance of maintaining the integrity of their investigation. He has specifically asked that we do not release any potential evidence as it may not only jeopardize the integrity of the case, but also complicate or delay their efforts. He was very specific in his request, and a copy of his letter is included with this statement. While we maintain our commitment to be fully transparent during this process, we must respect the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s request for full cooperation and continue to have faith in the judicial process. We want the whole truth, unimpeded and not delayed.
The city’s press release concluded, “We want everyone who lives, works or visits Hoover to know that we are committed to the safety of our city, to healing from these tragic events and to the transparency of the ongoing investigation.”
In the attached letter from ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor that Derzis referenced, Taylor said, “It is imperative for the integrity of any criminal investigation conducted by ALEA that information obtained by SBI Agents be kept confidential until an investigation is officially closed and a report is made to the appropriate prosecuting authority.”
Taylor then specifically requested the city not release “any information or evidence relevant to the shooting incidents” that occurred at the Galleria on November 22.
“Disclosure by the city of such information or evidence may jeopardize the integrity of or unnecessarily complicate and/or delay SBI’s pending investigations and the associated judicial process,” Taylor added.
The announcement of this news Monday by Hoover officials is expected to escalate the actions of protesters led by Carlos Chaverst, Jr. in and around the city. This group had threatened to take to schools and the homes of police officers if the video was not released by Monday at noon.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn