Statement on Recent Police Shootings in Chicago and Birmingham Suburbs

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. urges thorough and transparent investigations

The killing of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. in a mall in Hoover, Alabama marks the second recent shootings where police have mistaken a Black licensed gun holder for a gunman and shot him.

Two weeks ago, a white police officer wrongfully killed security officer, Jemel Roberson, after he helped subdue a gunman outside a night club in a Chicago suburb.

Whether they are would-be heroes or fleeing civilians, African American men continue to be deemed criminals or threats within milliseconds.

We, as members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., urge that a thorough and transparent investigation be conducted into both shooting deaths and that all body-worn camera and other video evidence be released to the public immediately.

The shoot first and ask questions later mentality when police encounter African American men, particularly those who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights as lawful gun owners, must be stopped.

Both Mr. Roberson and Mr. Bradford are victims, and law enforcement authorities should treat them and their families as such. Like all victims, their families deserve prompt updates and real time information as more details are learned.

In addition, law enforcement must move immediately to prevent any further such tragedies. One step forward is the establishment of community advisory boards to provide guidance to local police departments.

Overall, incidents, like these, underscore the importance of our advocacy in the face of injustice. Laws and policies, whether written or implied, that justify our mistreatment must be confronted and eradicated.

Most of all, the Fraternity must remain vigilant in both its collective and individual efforts, from our voter education and engagement campaigns to our brothers seeking election – to ensure that those in office will not only ensure fair treatment but pursue justice even when it is those who wear a badge are wrong. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. is committed to ensuring that our communities receive the justice, respect and humanity that they deserve.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, MD, was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The Fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Andrew Young, Edward Brookeand Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit and follow on Twitter @apa1906network