By The Associated Press

The Alabama NAACP is criticizing the state’s decision not to prosecute a police officer who killed a Black man in a case of mistaken identity.

A statement from the civil rights organization says Attorney General Steve Marshall’s decision essentially tells Alabama’s Black residents their lives don’t matter.

Activists protesting the police shooting of a Black man in an Alabama shopping mall hold U.S. flags painted with the words “Black lives don’t matter” in Hoover, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Demonstrators are upset with the state’s decision against prosecuting a police officer who shot and killed Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. in a shopping mall on Thanksgiving night. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

And the Alabama president of the NAACP, Bernard Simelton, says the state is denying justice for relatives of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr.

The state’s investigation determined that the police officer in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover was justified in shooting Bradford because Bradford carried a weapon and appeared to pose a threat.

The officer mistook Bradford for the man responsible for gunfire that erupted moments earlier in the shopping mall on Thanksgiving night.