MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More questions loom following the death of Alvin Motley Jr. after a judge’s ruling blocked the release of video in his death at a Kroger Fuel Center last month.
Tuesday a Shelby County judge blocked the release of the video until at least a preliminary hearing happens. The court has set a preliminary hearing for September 28.
Judge Louis Montesi’s ruling prohibited the state from releasing that video before a preliminary hearing, saying it would protect the defendant’s right to a fair and impartial hearing.
For the last month, the calls have been loud among civil rights activist for the release of surveillance video showing the shooting death.
Police say Motley was shot and killed at this Kroger Fuel Center by now-former Kroger Security Guard Gregory Livingston in a dispute over loud music.
There’s since been a battle in the courtroom for the public release of video showing the deadly encounter.
Livingston’s attorneys argued the video shouldn’t be released to “protect the defendant’s constitutional right to receive a fair and impartial trial, adding, “the public dissemination of discovery documents to the public can have a prejudicial effect upon the defendant.”
Van Turner, president of the NAACP Memphis branch said releasing the video is the right thing to do.
“Given that the family and prosecution have both asked that the video be released, I think it’s the correct thing to do and I don’t think this would prejudice the defendant receiving a fair trial at all,” Turner said.
Citing a precedent set in other high-profile cases like Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd, Turner said Tuesday’s decision will not stop their fight for the release of the video, because this is for so much more.
“The silent people who have been killed and maimed and treated unfairly by law enforcement, by security officers and there was no video to show it, they deserve for this to be shown, so we will keep fighting.”
Attorney Ben Crump and the family of Alvin Motley released this statement in that reads:
“The Motley family and our legal team are disheartened by the court’s ruling today to continue to block the public release of the video footage from the day Alvin Motley was brutally killed. The court’s decision further delays the clarity, transparency, and answers that the family and community deserve. Decisions like this one do nothing to improve the public’s confidence in equal justice and due process as it relates to African Americans. We have never seen a video of a Black man killing a white man be blocked from public release out of concern for a fair and impartial jury for the defendant like we see here. The pursuit of justice for Alvin is far from over.”