Video 1: “Family of Man Killed Over Loud Music Seeks Justice”
Note: In addition to the video, please see the following article included at the above-referenced internet address:
“Family of Man Allegedly Shot Over Loud Music Wants Company Who Employed Alleged Shooter Charged”
According to the article, the family and attorney of a Black man shot to death by a security guard, allegedly over a dispute about loud music, are demanding Kroger and the third-party security guard company it employed to also face charges.
Alvin Motley Jr., 48, was at a Kroger gas station in Memphis, Tennessee, with his girlfriend on August 7 when Gregory Livingston, who is white, allegedly approached him about the volume of music coming from their car. After the initial argument between Motley and Livingston, Motley walked toward the security guard holding a beer can and a lit cigarette asking Livingston, “Let’s talk like men,” according to the affidavit. Shortly after, Livingston shot Motley in the chest, prosecutors said.
Motley’s attorney Ben Crump and the Reverend Al Sharpton said that Kroger must be charged alongside Livingston and Allied Universal for facilitating the contract that resulted in the death of Motley. Livingston has been charged with second-degree murder.
“Kroger, you can’t pass the buck saying that this is an issue for the Motley family or the security company. It’s an issue for your company. … You have a duty to provide safety and have qualified employees and contractors who won’t kill Black people over loud music,” Crump said.
Crump and Sharpton called on the civil rights community to play loud music in front of Kroger grocery chain stores across the country in protest of Motley’s death.
A Kroger spokesperson said in an email statement that after an internal review of the incident, Kroger made the decision to end its relationship with Allied Universal Security in Memphis.
“We are deeply saddened, extremely angry and horrified by this senseless violence. At Kroger, nothing is more important to us than the safety of our associates and customers, and our hearts are with the Motley family and we stand with them in their calls for justice,” a Kroger spokesperson said.
Crump and Sharpton said the shooting was racially motivated.
“I cannot imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and these were young white men listening to rock and roll or country music, nobody would say it was justified to kill them,” Crump said at Wednesday’s press conference. “So if you can’t justify killing them over music, you can’t justify killing us over hip hop music.”
Livingston’s attorney, Leslie Ballin, said that the shooting was neither racially motivated nor about loud music.
“Let it be known that we do not agree that this incident was about loud music,” Ballin said. “I don’t know of any facts that would lead to the conclusion that this event was racially motivated. If there are such facts, I’m ready to be educated.”
The surveillance footage at the Kroger gas station allegedly captured the incident but has not yet been released to the family or the public. Ballin said he objects to the release of any evidence, including the video footage, in fear that it could contaminate a potential jury pool.
Livingston’s attorneys requested their client’s $1.8 million bail be reduced, claiming the amount is excessive and therefore unconstitutional.
“My son was truly my best friend and I’ll forever hold him in my thoughts,” Alvin Motley Sr. said during the press conference before his son’s memorial Wednesday. “I just want justice for my son.”
1. Based on the information provided in this article, do you believe Kroger should be criminally charged for Alvin Motley Jr.’s death? Why or why not?
This is an opinion question, so student responses will likely vary.
In your author’s opinion, there is not enough evidence presented in the article to justify a criminal charge against Kroger’s in this case. To justify a criminal charge, the prosecutor should be convinced that he or she can prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against the defendant in criminal court. To hold Kroger responsible in this case, the prosecutor would have to prove that Kroger’s: 1) directed the action against the victim; 2) was criminally reckless in allowing Gregory Livingston (the security guard) to be on the property; or 3) was criminally negligent in allowing Mr. Livingston to be on the property. Again, although there may be other evidence “out there” to support a criminally charge against Kroger’s, there is nothing presented in the article to support such a charge.
Although Alvin Motley Jr.’s attorney, Ben Crump, is certainly correct in his claim that Kroger’s has a duty to provide safety and have qualified employees and contractors, that duty is not absolute. There would need to be evidenced introduced and proven beyond reasonable doubt that Kroger’s intentionally, recklessly, or negligently violated that duty.
2. As indicated in the article, after an internal review of the incident, Kroger made the decision to end its relationship with Allied Universal Security in Memphis. Is this evidence of Kroger’s criminal liability in this case? Why or why not?
No, this is not evidence of Kroger’s criminal liability in this case, nor is it evidence of Kroger’s civil liability. Our legal system seeks to encourage defendants to improve circumstances “after-the-fact,” and to do so, courts prohibit the introduction of such evidence to prove liability.
For further guidance regarding subsequent remedial measures, please see Rule 407 of the Federal Rules of Evidence:
Rule 407. Subsequent Remedial Measures
When measures are taken that would have made an earlier injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove:
b) culpable conduct;
c) a defect in a product or its design; or
d) a need for a warning or instruction.
But the court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as impeachment or, if disputed, proving ownership, control, or the feasibility of precautionary measures.
3. Would you recommend a civil action by the family of Alvin Motley Jr. against Kroger? Why or why not?
This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.
In your author’s opinion, although the plaintiff’s prospects of prevailing against Kroger’s would be better in civil court, since the burden of proof is “by the greater weight of the evidence” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt,” there must still be some evidence that Kroger’s was reckless or negligent in allowing Gregory Livingston (the security guard) to be on the property at the time the shooting occurred. This could include evidence of a violent past, of being aggressive against others, and/or a prior criminal record that would indicate violent propensities. Again, there is nothing in the article to indicate this, so unless there is other evidence that would prove such, a case against Kroger even in civil court would likely be unsuccessful.
Video 2: “Why Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise and How the U.S. Can Fight Them”
1. What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware (software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system) that encrypts a victim’s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment. The perpetrator shows users instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key.
For more information regarding ransomware, including what it is and how to remove it, please see the following internet address:
2. What is a hacker?
A hacker is a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to date. Hacking is both a criminal and a civil wrong, and the violator can typically be tried in both federal and state court.
3. Conduct some research and describe what law(s) are broken by hackers in their deployment of ransomware.
The depth of research will vary among students, and for that reason, student responses will likely vary. Fundamentally, the acts of hacking and the use of ransomware can violate both federal and state law.
For violations of federal law, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), please see the following internet address:
For violations of state law, please see the following internet address: