‘I’m going to fight,’ says mother of police shooting victim as activists demand action


Janice Banks and activists speak to the media Thursday.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Community members say the time is now to speak up about police brutality in Memphis.

“With every energy in my body, I’m going to fight this. I’m going to fight,” Janice Banks said.

Her son, 25-year-old Martavious Banks, has been in critical condition since being shot by police on Monday.

“He’s had his lungs collapse and he’s not doing well. We are praying that he does make it, but his life will be forever changed by this incident,” P. Moses, with Black Lives Matter, said.

Activists are demanding action from the city. They want better accountability of police, more transparency, for MPD to get rid of what they call “dirty cops” and for the three officers involved in the shooting to face charges.

“These three officers premeditated this thing, knowing well they were going to kill this young man,” community activist, Pastor Steven Bradley said.

Memphis Police admit all three officers either had their body cameras or car cameras off at some point during the encounter.

Activists say earlier this year, Banks got away from these officers during a different incident.

They think this week’s shooting was payback.

“Instead of getting him, they tried to execute him,” Moses said.

Witnesses say Banks was running into a friend’s house as police shot him. We counted 12 bullet holes inside the home, and his family says he was shot in the back.

“We’re tired of these trained cowards, you understand, shooting people in the back. If this was the wild, wild west days, you’d be labeled as a coward,” activist Ian Jeffries said.

They’re asking for the FBI to get involved, saying they no longer trust local authorities.

“This was mishandled from the very start,” Pastor Bradley said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations released a statement to WREG, saying:

“We recognize that this has been a difficult and emotional week for a lot of people in the Memphis community. Since being requested on Tuesday to investigate the officer-involved shooting of Martavious Banks, our Agents have been collecting evidence and asking legitimate questions in an effort to gather any and all information relevant to the case. As with any investigation in which we are involved, some of these questions or conversations may be uncomfortable or difficult for some people, but they are necessary for our Agents to have a complete assessment of the facts of the case and the circumstances that led to the shooting. Likewise, our Agents have a duty to the community to provide a complete and thorough set of facts, and it’s necessary for our Agents to collect any and all evidence that may be relevant. 

It went on say that due to the fact the investigation is ongoing, they are not able to speak on specifics of the case or provide updates on the investigation at this time.

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