MPD Director on officer-involved shooting: ‘I am not confident that policy was followed’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — During a press conference held by MPD Director Mike Rallings, it was revealed that three officers are on paid administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting that left a 25-year-old in critical condition.

Martavious Banks, 25, was shot by an officer Monday night and is still in the hospital.

According to Rallings, all three of the officers had either their body-worn cameras or patrol car cameras turned off at some point during the incident.

The director stated the body-worn cameras "are in place to aid in transparency and accountability" and should not be disabled. "At this stage of the investigation, I am not confident that policy was followed."

He said an officer assigned to the Airways station was in the area of Gill and Pillow when he ran the license plate of a 2002 maroon Malibu. The license plate showed that the insurance was "unconfirmed," leading the officer to conduct a traffic stop.

Banks told the officers he didn't have proper identification or insurance information when it was requested by the officer.

"The driver then began reaching downward, at which time the officer advised that he saw a gun inside the vehicle. The officer told the driver to show him his hands at which time the driver put the vehicle in drive and fled the scene," Rallings said.

The initial encounter during the traffic stop was captured on body-worn camera and in-car video systems.

After pursuing the suspect, he was stopped in the 1200 block of Gill. At 6:30 p.m., an officer told MPD communications that shots had been fired.

A preliminary investigation revealed that after the suspect fled the vehicle, he was chased on foot by the officer and later shot. The shooting was not captured on the officer's body-worn camera because it wasn't activated.

He was relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Other officers who were on the scene did utilize their cameras.

"After further review, it was also discovered that two additional officers who were involved in the original traffic stop at Gill and Pillow deactivated either their body-worn cameras or in-car video systems during the pursuit from Gill and Pillow," Rallings said.

Those two officers have also been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Why’d they cut them off? Because they knew they were up to no good," said Janice Banks, the man's mother. "This shows me they really were, they set him up, you understand me, they plotted on him.”

She said her son was shot several times as he ran to a house, even after making it inside.

“If he was running away, he was no harm to them. He was not a threat to them," she said.

Police said Banks was armed but won’t tell us when he had a gun and if he ever fired the weapon.

An internal investigation is underway regarding the actions of the officers, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it will conduct an independent investigation.

On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement saying, "I agree with Director Rallings' decision to hand this case over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation so that we can fully understand what happened Monday night.  Body cameras help protect both citizens and police officers, and they enable our police department to be transparent.  Allowing TBI to handle this case is absolutely the right call."