The man's mother and father, shot dead by police in a mall in Alabama on Friday, demand "equal justice" after they say the authorities shot someone who was simply a good Samaritan.
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, was killed by police at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama, on Thanksgiving Day after a clash between several people outside a footaction store.
The police said he was "possibly involved in one aspect of the altercation," which resulted in shots of an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl, but did not fire. One of two officers who responded to the shot fired at Bradford, who is said to "swing a handgun."
In tears, his mother, April Pipkins, said no one should be treated the way she was by the Hoover police.
At first, the police said she believed Bradford had fired the shots both people had injured, but later that he had not fired any shots, and another man, who was still broadly minded, was probably responsible ,
"I'm outraged as a mom because I've been wearing it for nine months," Pipkins told ABC News. "As a mother, nobody understands how I feel, it's like someone's ripping my heart out."
The family said that they had not been contacted by the Hoover police because of the accidental shooting and that they only learned about media details.
"This is not a way to learn about your child's death," Pipkins said. Nobody should go through this to see their son on television or social media. "
Ben Crump, a family lawyer, told ABC News that he wanted the authorities to release a video of the shootings, relieving Bradford of the charges and pointing out the mistakes made by the police.
"The police call him a murderer when they got the video there," Crump said. "They wanted to justify the killing and that's why they killed his character so fast.
"When the police saw him, the worst thing was when the young man tried to help the situation," he added.
Crump said Bradford stands in front of the 18-year-old and tried to defuse the situation when "they shot first and later asked questions because he was a black man".
"The video is unbiased, it's completely objective," said the lawyer. "It tells the whole story."
Crump said Bradford has a pistol with him, but he got a license for it. Alabama is an "open carry" state, which means that it did not require a permit to carry the handgun open while in the holster.
Bradford was honorably released from the army for injury, according to his parents, who clipped a photo of him in uniform during an interview with ABC News Saturday. An army spokesman said only that he had "never completed an individual training" and was not seen as a service. Bradford had returned to Alabama to work full-time.
The 18-year-old victim is in a serious condition in a hospital, while the 12-year-old girl, an innocent bystander, has remained stable.
On Saturday, demonstrators gathered in the mall. Some wore a black-and-red banner labeled Justice for EJ. Crump said the family is considering legal action over the shootout.