Martavious Banks files $10M lawsuit against city, officers

Martavious Banks (submitted)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Martavious Banks, the man who made headlines when he was shot by police a year ago, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Memphis and the officers involved.

The lawsuit seeks $10 million for damages after the September 17, 2018 incident involving Banks, Jamarcus Jeames, Christopher Nowell and Michael Williams.

According to the lawsuit, the officers used excessive force when they “shot the Plantiff over 20 times causing him to suffer great physical, mental and emotional injuries.” They also “took actions to conceal the true nature of events and what occurred by causing the In-Car Camera System and Body Worn Camera to be turned off prior to the shooting and assault.”

The lawsuit also claimed the city of Memphis failed to properly train and supervise its officers.

Read the full lawsuit here

Jamarcus Jeames, the officer accused of pulling the trigger, resigned after the shooting.He was also accused of turning off his body and in-car cameras during part of the chase and shooting, using his patrol car to block Banks’ car, driving recklessly, not turning on his blue lights and telling dispatch about the pursuit.

Officer Michael Williams II received a 20-day unpaid suspension and written reprimand for not telling dispatch of a pursuit or getting approval for the pursuit, deactivating his body camera and being unable to account for two rounds of ammunition, even though police say he didn’t fire his weapon during the incident.

Officer Christopher Nowell received a 20-day unpaid suspension for not notifying dispatch of his traffic stop, pursuing without notifying the dispatcher or getting approval for the pursuit and deactivating his body camera.

Nowell also admitted he told Banks he was pulling him over for a different violation in order to avoid an argument.

After the shooting, Banks spent months recovering in the hospital.

In May, he was indicted on a number of charges related to the pursuit including intent to evade arrest auto risk/death, unlawful possession of a weapon in a public place, driving with a suspended or revoked license and reckless driving.

Banks’ attorney, Arthur Horne, said Banks entered a plea deal in August 2019 and was released from jail.  He pleaded guilty to the evading charge and unlawful possession of a weapon charge and was given two years and 10 months of probation.

“I think he’s happy to still be here but again, with him still being here comes with a lot of hurdles physically, emotionally and mentally,” Horne said.

The terms of Banks’ probation requires him to get a job, avoid future arrests and submit to random drug and alcohol testing. The district attorney’s office said Banks is also required to earn a GED, but his attorney Arthur Horne said Banks already has a high school diploma.

A city spokesperson said the city has no comment on this pending litigation.

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