On August 7, 48-year-old Alvin Motley joined the list of unarmed Black people gunned down by white people over a dispute that began over loud music. Motley was fatally shot at a Kroger gas station in Memphis, Tennessee. His alleged killer, Kroger security guard Gregory Livingston, has been charged with second-degree murder and has a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
As NewsOne previously reported, surveillance video of the shooting—which Livingston has admitted to carrying out—reportedly shows Livingston pulling his gun and shooting Motley while the victim was armed with nothing but a cigarette and a can of beer. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that video will not be made available to the public or to Motley’s family until after the preliminary hearing. Why would a judge rule that even Motley’s mourning family members can’t have access to the video? Apparently, because the truth might result in bias.
According to Memphis Commercial Appeal, General Sessions Judge Louis Montesi ruled that releasing the video prior to the September court date might interfere with the defendant’s right to a fair and impartial preliminary hearing and it could damage public trust.
If the idea that it is right and just to hide a video showing exactly what happened in order to protect the defendant’s right to fairness sounds ridiculous to you, trust that you are not alone.
“The Motley family and our legal team are disheartened by the court’s ruling today to continue to block the public release of the video footage from the day Alvin Motley was brutally killed,” Motley’s family’s attorneys, which include renowned civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, wrote in a statement. “The court’s decision further delays the clarity, transparency and answers that the family and community deserve. Decisions like this one do nothing to improve the public’s confidence in equal justice and due process as it relates to African Americans. We have never seen a video of a Black man killing a white man be blocked from public release out of concern for a fair and impartial jury for the defendant like we see here. The pursuit of justice for Alvin is far from over.”
Exactly. What public trust is the judge trying to protect? Which public? Certainly not the members of the public who wish to see justice, transparency and an end to killings like this one. To them, this just looks like the system going out of its way to favor a Black man’s killer.