Special prosecutor appointed in case of man allegedly killed by Memphis security guard; Sharpton to speak at funeral

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy and civil rights attorney Ben Crump will deliver remarks during a funeral service for a Chicago man allegedly shot and killed by a security guard while visiting Memphis.

Also announced Monday, The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference appointed District Attorney General Glenn Funk of Nashville to handle the case after Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich recused herself.

On Tuesday, Livingston appeared in court, and court records show his bond was set at $1.8 million.

Services for Alvin Motley will be held Wednesday in the Chicago area, 11 days after Motley was killed in the parking lot of an East Memphis Kroger fuel center.

Security guard Gregory Livingston is charged with second-degree murder. He was scheduled to appear in court in Memphis for a hearing Monday, but that hearing was reset for Tuesday.

Attorney Ben Crump speaks with family members of Alvin Motley, along with local political and NAACP members in Memphis on Aug. 10, 2021. Crump is representing the family of Motley, who was allegedly shot dead by a security guard at an East Memphis Kroger. Motley lived in Chicago but had family connections in Memphis, Crump said.

According to police accounts from witnesses, Livingston told Motley to turn down the music in his car. An argument ensued and shots were fired by Livingston.

Motley, who was visiting family in Memphis, was killed.

An investigator in Weirich’s office was also employed as a security guard and may have witnessed the event. Weirich said that investigator was put on leave without pay for failing to notify her of that connection immediately.

“I do not want anything to cast a shadow over the pursuit of justice so I am recusing our office. I have spoken to Mr. Crump, the family’s attorney, and have asked the District Attorney’s conference to appoint a special prosecutor,” Weirich said.

Protesters gathered at the Kroger over the weekend. Motley’s family, represented by Crump, were in Memphis last week demanding justice in the case.

NAACP president Van Turner said when Motley was shot by Livingston at the Kroger gas station at Poplar and Kirby after a confrontation over loud music, it was a shot that has been heard too many times before,

“You would think with the George Floyd conviction, with what has occurred in those other cases, we would start not seeing this as much. But unfortunately it is still happening,” Turner said. “I think there is racial bias involved.”

Livingston’s attorney Leslie Ballin says there is more to this case and it wasn’t about race.

“I am a possessor of facts at this point. I know things that speak to what happened and why. I am not at liberty to discuss that with you at this time,” Ballin said.

Over the weekend there was a protest at the gas station where the killing happened. Turner said that is likely just the beginning.

“I think you are gonna probably see black lives matter get involved. You are probably gonna see protests. You are probably gonna see demonstrations, call for boycotts,” Turner said.

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