Security guard at Kroger gas station charged with killing man is former police officer

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump retained to represent victim’s family
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 1:52 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The family of a man killed by a Kroger security guard says they are in disbelief about what happened.

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump has been retained to represent the victim’s family.

Alvin Motley died Saturday after an argument over loud music with 54-year-old Gregory Livingston, who was working as a security guard at the Kroger gas station at Poplar and Kirby Parkway.

Motley was from Chicago and was in Memphis on a business trip and to meet family members, relatives say.

Livingston is a former police officer with the City of Horn Lake, according to a spokesperson with the Horn Lake Police Department. He worked there from August 1998 until he resigned in April 2001, according to Major Nikki Lanphere.

Attorney Crump will hold a press conference along with Motley’s family on Wednesday at Mt. Olive CME Church.

“My heart breaks for the Motley family as they grieve the tragic and preventable loss of Alvin. Kroger and companies that employ security have the ultimate responsibility to train and equip their employees and contractors on de-escalation techniques similar to the training we’ve been advocating for law enforcement officers.,” Crump said in a statement. “There is no reason that a Black man trying to gas up his car should lose his life because his music was louder than what a security guard prefers, There is no question in my mind that this crime was racially motivated and a white person playing loud music in similar circumstances would be alive.”

Action News 5 spoke with French’e French, a Chicago radio personality and Motley’s sister.

She said Motley was an aspiring actor, entertainer, and media personality who was filming a reality show.

She says Motley also had his own clothing business and had just arrived in Memphis hours before he was killed.

“I just feel like he was very anxious about getting there. He had been trying to get there for that business meeting since March,” said French.

According to police, Motley was at the Kroger gas station at Poplar and Kirby Parkway Saturday night when he and Livingston argued over loud music coming from Motley’s car.

According to a police affidavit, Motley got out of his car and told Livingston, “Let’s talk like men.”

Police say security cameras recorded Motley holding a can of beer and a lit cigarette as he approached Livingston. They say that’s when Livingston shot Motley in the chest.

Motley died a short time later.

One eyewitness, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Action News 5 that she tried to help Motley after he was shot.

“I tried to help [him] but he was already gone,” she said. “It’s sad and it’s scary too.”

Police arrested Livingston for second-degree murder. He appeared in court Monday morning for a brief hearing. His next court date is set for Aug. 16.

“I definitely would love to see that security guard get first-degree murder and the highest penalty they can give him,” French said. “It seemed like it was driven by pure hatred.”

French said Motley was legally blind and could only see shadows.

“I feel like he could have just gotten a ticket or had the police called on him,” said French, adding that Motley was also a very thin man who weighed around 110 pounds.

Motley was a father and was engaged to be married. French says Motley’s 17-year-old son recently graduated from high school and is set to go to college.

French is asking the community to support Motley’s loved ones and join them in seeking justice.

A Kroger spokeswoman said Livingston worked for Allied Universal Security.

“The Kroger Delta Division is working in full cooperation with the Memphis Police Department. This is an active investigation, therefore; we are deferring all questions to local law enforcement for the integrity of the investigation,” the company said in a statement.

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