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  • Donald V. Watkins

Respect Derrick Murphy’s Leadership

Updated: Nov 30, 2018


By: Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on November 29, 2018


Out of the chaos of a tragic police shooting a week ago has emerged a leader we can trust and respect. His name is Derrick Murphy and he is a member of the Hoover City Council.

Mr. Murphy, who is African American, is addressing the fatal shooting of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford, Jr., in a direct, transparent and responsible way. He is asking the right questions and providing the entire Greater Birmingham community with the confidence it needs that there will be no law enforcement cover-up in this wrongful death case.


Hoover police have already admitted that Mr. Bradford, while armed on the night of the shooting, was not the man who fired shots in a crowded Galleria Mall on Thanksgiving night. The officer who shot Bradford obviously made a fatal mistake in the heat of the moment. The officer was attempting to save lives in an “active shooter” situation but ended up taking an innocent life instead.


This police shooting is under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, an organization whose own professional reputation was severely tarnished when former governor Robert Bentley turned it into a political machine to (a) protect his extra-marital affair with lover Rebekah Caldwell Mason and (b) punish those who exposed his clandestine love affair. It will take years before ALEA regains it reputation as an independent and objective law enforcement agency.


Mr. Murphy comes to this tragedy with no political or personal baggage. He enjoys an excellent professional and political reputation. He is well educated and highly intelligent. Mr. Murphy is investigating the Bradford shooting and calming community fears at the same time.


Mr. Murphy is obviously a problem solver, truth-teller, healer, and unifier. All of us should respect his efforts to find and report the whole truth in the Bradford police shooting case.


As a former city councilman who investigated many police shootings and subsequent cover-ups of those shootings, I know it takes time to properly investigate a police shooting. Mr. Murphy is moving with all deliberate speed in doing his job in the Bradford case. He is thoughtful, deliberate, and respectful to the process in his investigatory actions.


We should not rush Mr. Murphy in doing his job. It is always better in a police shooting case to get the facts straight before they are presented to the public. Public confidence depends upon getting the facts straight.


All of us should step back for a moment and respect Derrick Murphy’s leadership in this case. We owe this much to Mr. Murphy and his colleagues in the City of Hoover's government.

Finally, I am reasonably confident that there will be no cover-up in the Bradford police shooting case as long as Mr. Murphy continues to show strong leadership in this matter. This is not the face or track record of a man who has failed himself or his community in life.


Please, let Derrick Murphy do his thing.


PHOTO: Hoover City Council member Derrick Murphy has emerged as a leader in the crisis surrounding the Thanksgiving night fatal police shooting of Emantic "E.J." Bradford at the Galleria Mall in Hoover.


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© 2020 by Donald V. Watkins, P.C.