A jury found Anwar Ghazali guilty of second-degree murder after he chased down 17-year old Dorian Harris, fatally shooting him in the street over a $2 beer. Ghazali is Yemeni, and Harris was Black.
The murder took place on March 29, 2018, at Top Stop Shop in Memphis. Harris, who was unarmed at the time, walked into the store and grabbed the beer and left as the clerk watched. Ghazali dashed from around the counter with his handgun in tow past the other customers to pursue the young man.
Beverly Loverson witnessed the theft and the events leading up to Harris’ death. Loverson recounted her words to Ghazali as she testified in the case, according to a report in NBC News.
“As he passed me, I said, ‘Don’t kill him. Don’t kill him. It’s just a beer,'” Loverson testified.
Ghazali continued after the teen searching for him the parking lot of the store and later spotting the teen running down the block. He sprinted after Harris, caught up to him, and shot him three times before returning to the business.
“I think I shot him,” Ghazali stated as he went back to business as usual. He never notified the police. Harris bled to death after the bullet Ghazali fired severed his femoral artery. His body was found two days later in a man’s backyard on the same block as the store. The owner of the home noticed a trail of blood in his yard. When he followed it, he saw Harris’ body.
The second-degree murder conviction came last Thursday. The sentence marked the end of protests and outrage, which fueled racial tension between African-Americans and Arabs in Memphis.
Ghazali faces between 15 and 60 years for Harris’ murder. He is set to appear in court next month for sentencing.
Prosecutor Lora Fowler expressed her disgust, stating: “This defendant took it upon himself to be the judge, the jury and the executioner over a $2 beer.”
Although there were many witnesses, not one person called the police. Leverson regrets that decision to this day. At the time of Harris’ death, he lived with his grandmother, Effie Fitch. On the night he died, Harris spent the night at his cousin’s house. Fitch wasn’t concerned when her grandson didn’t return.
“He just left him out there to die,” Fitch said with tears in her eyes. “And I do believe in all my heart that if he had called the police and let somebody know that he shot somebody that my grandson would have been alive today.”