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Alvin Motley, shooting victim at Memphis Kroger's gas station by security guard

Alvin Motley. | Source: Ben Crump

A suspected white supremacist has been found guilty of murdering an unarmed Black man following a dispute over loud music in Memphis nearly three years ago.

A jury returned the verdict on Friday in the case of Gregory Livingston, who was working as a security guard at a Kroger when he gunned down Alvin Motley, 48, who was reportedly trying to de-escalate the situation when the violence broke out.

MORE: Louisiana Cop Charged With Homicide After Neighbor’s Complaint About Loud Music

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Motley’s family, greeted the verdict with mixed emotions.

“Today marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of justice for Alvin and his grieving family. We commend the efforts of the prosecution team for their commitment to pursuing justice in this case,” Crump said in a statement sent to NewsOne. “Today’s verdict sends a powerful message that acts of violence will not go unchecked, especially when they result in the loss of innocent lives.”

On the flip side, Crump said, the preventable damage inflicted by Livingston cannot be undone, Crump added.

“While today’s verdict brings a measure of closure, it does not erase the pain of Alvin’s absence, or the trauma endured by his family,” Crump said. “We stand with them in their continued pursuit of justice and we will work tirelessly to ensure that Alvin’s legacy is one of justice and meaningful change.”

What happened to Alvin Motley?

Alvin Motley was killed on the night of Aug. 7, 2021, at a gas station at a Kroger’s in Memphis after Livingston, a white man working as a security guard, confronted the Black man to complain about the volume of the music from his car.

After Motley reportedly told Livingston he wanted to “talk like men,” the security guard pulled out his gun and shot Motley at point-blank range. Surveillance footage shows Motley was holding a beer can and a lit cigarette, suggesting he was not a threat to Livingston, who was obviously armed with a deadly weapon.

Livingston, 54 at the time, admitted to police that he shot and killed Motley and was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and held on a $1.8 million bond.

A conflict of interest in the case prompted Memphis’ top prosecutor to recuse herself after an investigator in her office admitted he also worked off-duty with the same security company that employed Livingston. Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich called for a special prosecutor to take over the case.

Crump was quickly retained by Motley’s family and maintained early on that Livingston “profiled” Motley before resorting to lethal force “because of the color of his skin.”

Deadly disputes over loud music

The shooting was among an apparent trend of deadly disputes over loud music in which the gunmen are seemingly disproportionately white.

In 2020, a Black family in Indiana got a racist letter from the “community” about “loud music” played at a birthday party. Taking it a step further, former NBA star Latrell Sprewell was arrested for playing loud music at his own home. And who could forget when gentrifiers in Washington, D.C., tried to gain support for a city council bill called the “Amplified Noise Amendment Act of 2018” that would criminalize playing loud music with a jail sentence of up to 10 days?

But Jordan Davis may be the most widely cited example of “loud music” shootings.

The 17-year-old was robbed of his life in 2012 by a white man who said he felt “threatened” by the volume of the music being played in the car in which the teenager was a passenger. He was shot to death at a gas station in Jacksonville when 45-year-old Michael Dunn opened fire. Dunn was given a sentence of life in prison without parole and 90 years. Davis’ mother, Rep. Lucy McBath, famously went on to become a congresswoman in Georgia who has made gun violence prevention a top priority.

Most recently, an incident in Alabama in March over loud music avoided taking a deadly turn when the racial roles were reversed. After a Black mother called 911 to report her white neighbor’s loud music, Twyla Stallworth was violently arrested inside her own home. Two weeks ago, Stallworth filed a federal lawsuit against the Andalusia Police Department and Officer Grant Barton, the latter of whom is accused of acting out of racial bias.

“Calling out racism isn’t illegal,” civil rights attorney Harry Daniels previously said about Stallworth’s arrest.

Kroger has become increasingly deadly for Black people

Motley is far from the first Black person to die from gun violence at a Kroger location in recent years.

Just last year, a trigger-happy police officer in central Ohio gunned down Ta’Kiya Young, a 21-year-old mother of two young sons who was pregnant with her first daughter at the time of her shooting death.

Young was being blamed by the Blendon Township Police Department for her own death. But the reason why she was shot is just as important as where she was shot — outside of a Kroger.

While the context behind Young’s shooting differs in nature from the other violence that Black people have suffered at and outside of a Kroger location, the supermarket chain is the unavoidable common link.

Perhaps most notoriously, in 2018, after a white supremacist named Gregory Bush tried and failed to enter the predominantly Black church in Kentucky, he went to a nearby Kroger and shot and killed Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, both African Americans.

Federal prosecutors successfully argued that Bush did not know his victims and opened fire because of their race. Bush came in contact with a third person, a Black man, who questioned him about the shooting. The man brandished his own weapon and opened fire on Bush in self-defense. A fourth person who was white and also legally armed told authorities that Bush did not fire upon him, saying “whites don’t shoot whites.”

Bush was eventually sentenced to life in prison and was facing a second life sentence under federal hate crime charges to which he pleaded guilty.

This is America.


Florida Bans Cars Playing Loud Music 10 Years After Jordan Davis’ Murder

Georgia Cops Detain And Cite Black Man For Singing Rap Lyrics Too Loud

The post Justice For Alvin Motley: Suspected White Supremacist Found Guilty Of Murdering Black Man Over Loud Music appeared first on NewsOne.

Justice For Alvin Motley: Suspected White Supremacist Found Guilty Of Murdering Black Man Over Loud Music  was originally published on