Bernice King shows support for Memphis teen killed over can of beer

Anwar Ghazali (Source: SCSO)
Anwar Ghazali (Source: SCSO)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The daughter of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is spending the week focused on the death of her father and a Memphis teen.

Reverend Dr. Bernice King Tweeted about the killing of 17-year-old Dorian Harris.

A store clerk said he shot at Harris on March 29 when he attempted to steal a beer from the store.

Harris' body was found Saturday next to a home in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Investigators said the store clerk, Anwar Ghazali, noticed that Harris was stealing from the store, so he grabbed a gun, chased Harris out of the store, and shot him in the leg as he was running away from the store.

Ghazali never called police.

The Hyde Park community protested outside the store following the clerk's arrest.

Now, King is speaking up in support of Harris.

"You have people doing business in your community who don't value your life," City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd said. Boyd represents the Hyde Park neighborhood. "It sends the wrong signal, that a person life is not worth a $2 beer."

Ghazali's defense Attorney has a different perspective on what may have happened that night.

"This is not necessarily a case of someone being shot over a beer," attorney Blake Ballin said.

Ballin points out surveillance video does not show what happened outside the store.

"Was Mr. Ghazali acting in self-defense? Was the deceased acting aggressively in some way? Those are unanswered questions," Ballin said.

With more protests and boycotts of the Top Stop Shop planned, Boyd has a message for Memphians.

"It's important to let your voice be heard, but to let your voice be heard in a peaceful manner," Boyd said.

Ghazali is due back in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

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