Gregory Livingston Is Facing Murder Charges After Killing a Black Man Over Loud Music

Mugshot of Gregory Livingston. Image: Memphis Police Department/WDTN

Alvin Motley Jr. is not the first Black person to be killed after a disagreement about loud music.

But he is the latest one to fall victim to said violence.

Gregory Livingston, a security guard at Kroger Fuel Center in Memphis, Tennessee, is facing a murder charge after he allegedly shot and killed Motley over “the volume of music” coming from the vehicle he was in as a passenger.

According to an affidavit sent to VICE News by a Memphis Police Department spoksperson, Motley went over to talk to Livingston, got back into the car, and then exited again, telling the security guard, “Let’s talk like me.” The 54-year-old, who is reportedly also a former cop, pulled out his gun and shot Motley in the chest.

Motley died at the scene. 

Ben Crump, the famed civil rights lawyer and an attorney for Motley’s family, said during a Tuesday, Aug. 10 press conference, that Motley, a Chicago resident, was killed because the color of his skin.

“Alvin Motley has a right to exist, to pump gas, and play his music because this is America,” Crump said. “And nobody has the right to kill a young Black man for playing music.”

Motley’s father, Alvin Motley Sr., said through tears during the conference, “I just want justice for my son,” while his sister called her brother the “life of the party.”

Again, to be noted, this isn’t the first time a Black person has been killed over a disagreement over loud music. Last year, an Oregon man was accused of fatally shooting a Black teen playing music in a hotel parking lot, while a Florida man named Michael Dunn was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 after gunning down a Black 17-year-old who was listening to rap in a car full of fellow teenagers.

Crump brought up the latter case during his press conference, saying it was “eerily similar” to what had happened to Motley.

Livingston was arrested over Motley’s death and currently sits behind bars at the Shelby County Jail on a $1.8 million bond for a charge of second-degree murder. Employed as an officer in Horn Lake, Mississippi, Livingston was there from Aug. 1998 to Apr. 2001—and reportedly was not a licensed armed security guard at the time of the shooting, according to WREG, a local CBS affiliate.

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Kroger, in a statement, said that Livingston was a “third-party contractor who provided security services” for the fuel center.

“We are deeply saddened, extremely angry and horrified by this senseless violence. Our hearts are with the Motley family,” Kroger said. “This tragic incident involved a third-party contractor onsite to provide security services at our Poplar Avenue Fuel Center. We ask all third-party contractors to respect and honor our core values which include respect, diversity, and inclusion. We want to thank the Memphis Police Department for their swift action. The only outcome we seek is justice.”

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