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Loud Music Allegedly Led to Black Man's Death

Unlicensed gas station security guard charged with shooting Alvin Motley Jr. in Memphis
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 12:51 PM CDT
Lawyer: He Killed Black Man for 'Playing Music'
Gregory Livingston   (Memphis Police Department)

(Newser) – A Black man who traveled to Memphis, Tenn., to visit with his niece and nephew ended up dead at a Kroger gas station where he was allegedly shot by a security guard upset about his loud music. That's according to an affidavit claiming 54-year-old Gregory Livingston, who is white, shot 48-year-old Alvin Motley Jr. following a verbal argument just before 7pm Saturday. Motley's girlfriend told authorities that after Livingston started an argument, she convinced Motley to get into the car; he subsequently got out and headed toward the security guard, suggesting they "talk like men," per the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Surveillance video shows Motley approaching Livingston while holding a beer and cigarette, per the affidavit. It states Livingston then shot Motley in the chest. He's charged with second-degree murder and being held on a $1.8 million bond.

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At a Tuesday press conference, Alvin Motley Sr. said his son "wasn't violent at all," per WATN. "I forgive the man, but I want him punished to the fullest extent," he added, per ABC News. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump likened the case to that of Jordan Davis, a Black teen killed in Florida in 2012 by a man upset over his loud music. "I don't care how loud you think it is. You do not have a right to kill a young black man for playing music," Crump said. He demanded Kroger take responsibility and "hire security companies that won't profile Black people." Kroger says Livingston worked for a third-party security service, which ABC names as Allied Universal. Livingston, who is unlicensed, had applied for an armed security guard license in 2017 but failed to complete all requirements; he applied again on Aug. 2 but was denied for having worked in an armed capacity without a license. (Read more second-degree murder stories.)

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