A Memphis judge has blocked the release of a video that captured the final moments of Alvin Motley Jr.’s life. Motley was killed by former cop-turned-security guard, Gregory Livingston, at a Kroger gas station last month.
The special prosecutor in the case originally planned to release the video evidence to Motley’s father and the rest of the public on Friday, but the judge has now granted a temporary restraining order blocking the video.
The Root reported last month that Livingston is facing a second-degree murder charge and was not licensed as an armed security guard when he shot Motley during an argument over Motley’s music.
The Commercial Appeal reports that attorneys for Livingston had requested a protective order against the video being released last week. Judge Louis Montesi Jr. issued the order preventing the release until Sept. 7 when he’s scheduled to issue a ruling on the release to the public.
From Commercial Appeal:
The state has argued that releasing the video is important for the residents of Shelby County to be able to trust that the case is being handled with integrity and ethical standards, while the defense has argued that its release could make it difficult to have a fair and impartial jury.
“The case needs to be tried in court,” said Livingston’s attorney Leslie Ballin last week. “To release this information out into the public could have an effect on the ability for both sides to get a fair and impartial jury and hear the case based on what’s said in court.”
The state’s filing Monday, however, argued that it is not uncommon for a victim or victim’s family member to have a copy of certain evidence.
According to WREG, protestors have been calling for the video’s release at recent demonstrations for Motley.
“The judge’s decision to delay the release of the video in this case is deeply upsetting to the family and the community,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said in a written statement.
“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? We demand justice and transparency for Alvin Motley and his family. We won’t rest until they’ve received the justice they deserve.”
Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk, the special prosecutor on the case, wanted the video released to Motley’s father primarily so that he can assist in the investigation and be a possible witness. The state also notes, according to Commercial Appeal, that DA Funk had released video evidence without affecting a defendant’s right to a fair trial in high-profile cases before, including during the case of a Nashville officer who shot and killed Daniel Hambrick in 2018.