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Attorney Ben Crump calls judges decision to withhold video evidence of Alvin Motley’s death ‘disheartening’

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge has denied the release of videos relating to Alvin Motley’s killing.

Motley was shot and killed August 7 by a security guard at a Kroger gas station on Poplar Avenue in Memphis.

Tuesday morning, general sessions judge Louis Montesi prohibited the state from releasing audio and video recordings of Motley’s killing, stating that “in order to protect the right of the accused to a fair and impartial preliminary hearing and promote public trust in the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Gregory Livingston is the man accused of shooting and killing Motley. Investigators believe an argument over loud music led to the shooting.

Livingston faces charges of second-degree murder. His attorney says he shot Motley in self-defense.

Civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, who’s representing Motley’s family, says they are all disheartened by the court’s ruling, and says, “decisions like this one do nothing to improve the public’s confidence in equal justice.”

The sentiment is echoed by NAACP Memphis chapter president, Van Turner.

“We’re disappointed. The NAACP fought for the release of the video tape,” Turner said.

Turner adds this request from the state to release videos of the shooting is not typical, especially since it’s something Motley’s family and their legal team are also calling for.

On the other hand, Livingston’s legal team says the right choice was made.

“I think it was the correct decision. I believe that the right to a fair trial outweighs the public’s right to know,” said co-council, Steve Farese.

The state argued releasing the video “is consistent with the belief that transparency helps to instill faith in our criminal justice system.”

Farese says the video should only be released to jurors.

“No, I don’t think they should ever be released until trial. The jurors are the triers of that. They should be hearing that as a pristine jury without any preconceived notions,” Farese said.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 28. Turner says hopefully they have better luck then, trying to get the video released.

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