Playing Loud Music Should Not Be a Death Sentence

Bobby DiCello co-represents the family of Alvin Motley Jr., who was shot and killed at a gas station in Tennessee for doing nothing more than playing his music through the car’s sound system.

On August 7, 2021, Alvin Motley Jr. and his girlfriend were on their way to visit family when they stopped at a gas station in Memphis, Tennessee, with the car stereo playing loudly. When Motley, a Black man, stepped out of the car, a white security guard complained about the volume of the music. An argument erupted, and within seconds, the security guard shot and killed Motley, who was unarmed. Both the gas station’s surveillance camera and a bystander’s cellphone recorded the killing.

Through a settlement, Bobby found justice for Motley and accountability from the shooter and the security firm that hired him, which failed to verify the guard’s fabricated police service and legal ability to possess a handgun.

The shooter has been indicted by a Tennessee grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder. The criminal trial is set for 2024.