The legal battle over the release of a video showing the fatal shooting of Alvin Motley Jr. by an unlicensed security guard took another emotional turn this week when a Sept. 7 hearing was pushed back to Sept. 28.
Motley was shot and killed on Aug. 7 at the Kroger Fuel Center, 6600 Poplar Ave., near the East Memphis and Germantown line.
Gregory Livingston, who was working as a security guard, reportedly shot Motley as he walked toward him with a cigarette in one hand and a can of beer in the other. The encounter, according to witnesses, involved Livingston’s insistence that loud music be turned down coming from the car in which Motley was a passenger.
On Aug. 30, intent to release documents regarding the video’s release were filed by the special prosecutor, Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk. Sept. 3 was the target date.
However, less than 24 hours later, Shelby County General Sessions Court Judge Louis J. Montesi Jr. granted defense attorney Leslie Ballin a temporary restraining order, preventing the release.
Montesi set Sept. 7 to hear arguments from both sides on releasing the video to Motley’s family and the public.
Carl Adams, cousin of Motley Jr. and a prominent figure in the local protests at Kroger Stores, said the family was obviously disappointed at the reverse action allowed by Montesi.
“Right now, we remain in a wait-and-see mode,” Adams said. “We don’t want to get ahead of the process, and we are taking direction from Attorney (Benjamin) Crump.”
Crump, a national civil rights attorney, has made several recent visits to Memphis in pursuit of what he calls justice for the Motley family.
Funk arranged a private showing of the video to the Motley family prior to an Aug. 26 memorial service.
Cara Adams, daughter of Carl Adams, had expressed publicly that it is important for young people to see the video. She was unaware of the new Sept. 28 date.
“When I looked at the video, I thought it was the worst case of white terrorism that I’ve ever seen,” said Adams. “It is important for millenials to see and understand that some white people see us as less than human.”
After Montesi’s temporary restraining order was announced, Crump issued a brief statement:
“The judge’s decision to delay the release of the video in this case is deeply upsetting to the family and the community,” Crump said. “This video shows the cold, hard truth in this case: another Black man was killed unjustifiably by a white man with too much power.
“Alvin wasn’t a threat and he wasn’t breaking a single law by sitting in the passenger seat of the car, listening to hip hop music. The facts of this case are clear as day. So, why is there so much effort being made to hide them? …”
Funk was appointed special prosecutor in the Memphis case after Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich recused her office. She requested a special prosecutor to handle the case because a criminal investigator in her office worked for the same security office as Livingston.
Livingston remains in Shelby County jail on a $1.8 million bond.