Staten Island parents seek answers after son’s Navy suicide

A grieving Staten Island couple have one Memorial Day want: to learn how their US Navy son died two years in the past.

James Bradley, 22, was discovered useless inside his locked room on the Port Hueneme Naval Base barracks in Ventura County, Calif., on Oct. 30, 2019 — leaving his parents and 4 older sisters in shock.

Navy personnel solely talked about “informally” that Bradley, who was raised in Brooklyn and was captain of the Xavier High School monitor crew, had taken his personal life.

But there by no means been any hints of suicidal ideas from their son, Teri and James Bradley say.

“His dream was to serve in the Navy,” mentioned Teri Bradley, 61. “He was looking to get his first motorcycle. He was coming home for Christmas. Everything was very positive.”

Now, 19 months later, no official communication as to the reason for his loss of life or outcomes of investigations, has been given to them, the Bradleys contend in a Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit.

“We deserve to know what happened,” mentioned James Bradley, 62, who retired from the NYPD. “This is way too long to wait.”

James Bradley
The nature of James Bradley’s loss of life has solely been “informally” talked about by Navy personnel.

Their Navy liaison “seemed to lack any information whenever they contacted him,” in accordance with the Bradley’s lawsuit in opposition to the Navy. The liaison’s solely suggestion: file a Freedom of Information Act request, which was later denied.

“If it was as cut and dry as they say, what is taking almost two years to give us an outcome?” Teri Bradley added.

The Bradleys needed to rent a lawyer, and contacted the Ventura County Medical Examiner themselves to be taught their son allegedly hanged himself, in accordance with the parents. Bradley’s physique was moved by Navy personnel earlier than health worker staffers arrived, M.E. data present.

No post-mortem or toxicology was carried out — solely an “external” inspection of the physique.

“I would have had an autopsy done. I want to know,” mentioned Teri Bradley. “A visual [inspection] of a body is not an autopsy.”

An post-mortem isn’t carried out for each loss of life, the medical experts workplace mentioned, including, “Not every case calls for toxicology or a full autopsy.”

The couple declare they by no means had an opportunity to talk privately with their son’s Navy friends at his Brooklyn funeral or a California memorial, as a result of commanding officers had been all the time current.

“The fact that you don’t come forward and present the facts, the delays in this process — is that really what happened or are they just trying to clean up the mess?” mentioned Jim Bradley, including, “I’m a retired cop, this is not how you treat the family of a person who died, under any circumstance.”

The Navy’s “cloak-and-dagger” strategy to communication has left the Bradleys with questions, mentioned their legal professional Maryam Hadden.

Hand out photo of James Michael Bradley, center, and his parents, Teresa and James Bradley, residents of Staten Island. The Bradleys are asking the US Navy to give them more details of their son’s alleged suicide on Oct. 30, 2019 at Port Hueneme Naval Base in California. Photo by Lisa R. Kyle. May 27, 2021
The Bradleys needed to rent a lawyer and contacted the Ventura County Medical Examiner themselves to be taught their son allegedly hanged himself.

“It sort of begs the question, is there something there? They only thing they do know is that the Navy hasn’t handled it in a professional manner,” Hadden mentioned.

The Bradley’s appealed the denial of their FOIA request. In an April rejection letter, Navy officers insisted a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe of James Bradley’s loss of life — which is carried out for all non-combat deaths — was nonetheless energetic.

Another probe, referred to as a Line of Duty Death investigation, was accomplished by November 2019 and was accessible to the household upon request, mentioned a spokeswoman, who declined to touch upon the litigation.

The Bradleys say they had been by no means advised of the Line of Duty Death investigation, or its completion.

“I’ve never heard that term before,” Jim Bradley mentioned.

“No one ever said that,” added his spouse. “We know nothing of what we should have had, what we don’t have — all we know is we lost a son.”

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