Tennessee store clerk who chased and fatally shot black teen for stealing a $2 drink found guilty of murder
17-year-old Dorian Harris died after store clerk Anwar Ghazali, 29, fired several shots at him on March 30, 2018
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: A store clerk in Memphis has been convicted of second-degree murder after shooting and killing a black teenager in March last year.
On March 30, 2018, Dorian Harris, 17, walked inside the Top Stop Shop and grabbed a $2 beer can before rushing out of the store without paying for it.
Anwar Ghazali, who was handling the store that evening, noticed it and quickly got his handgun out and ran after the boy.
Ghazali fired several shots at the teen and returned to his store.
Dorian's body was found two days later in a yard near the store with gunshots in the back of his thigh.
Ghazali, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder after a four-day trial. He will be sentenced on September 23, USA Today reported.
In Tennessee, second-degree murder is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison.
"The defendant took it upon himself to be the judge, the jury and the executioner over a $2 [drink]. That's why we're here," said state prosecutor Lora Fowler during closing arguments.
"Why are you using deadly force to defend a [drink]?"
Dorian’s killing triggered two days of protest as friends, family, and neighbors took to streets to demonstrate the injustice done to the young boy.
The store was closed for two weeks after Harris' death, according to Matt Porter, a lawyer representing Harris' family in a civil suit against the store's owner.
The incident also reignited the “Black Lives Matter” movement, where in the past black men were shot and killed over trivial issues.
Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., issued a statement about Dorian’s killing, and linking it to the broader issue of black lives matter movement.
"Dear Memphis: I'm here in your city. #DorianHarris should be here, too," she said on Twitter. "If we don't value black lives and believe that Dorian's life is worth far more than an allegedly stolen beer, then we're not authentically honoring my father."
During the trial, Harris' grandmother, Effie Fitch, sat in the front row and observed the proceedings keenly.
Later, after the verdict was announced, she revealed that while she was pleased with the verdict, she wasn’t happy about the charge.