MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has learned more about the Memphis police officers involved in the Martavious Banks shooting in 2018. A report obtained by WREG shows one of the officers involved in Banks’ shooting had a previous complaint of excessive force.
In July 2019, a wanted person call landed several officers at Hugenot and Barron Street in south Memphis. They say Anthony Allen had several warrants and was trying to flee from police.
According to an Internal Affairs report, three of the responding officers were Michael Williams, Christopher Nowell and JeMarcus James. The report says Allen refused to obey commands and be handcuffed.
Officer Williams eventually came to the scene and struck Allen in the face, causing him to stop resisting. Allen said it was excessive and unnecessary force. He says he didn’t have to be hit and was already outnumbered by police. He filed a complaint.
But investigators found Officer Nowell did not activate his body camera, which could have captured what happened. Nowell said he was focused on securing the suspect.
When investigators talked to the officers, Williams and James defended Nowell. Williams says his fellow officer was focused on arriving safely and securing the suspect.
James told investigators the system that should have activated Nowell’s body camera was malfunctioning, but there was no intent to violate policy. Investigators dismissed the charge of violating body camera policy.
They also said video footage showed Allen being combative and resisting arrest and Officer Williams used a resistance technique to subdue him, so excessive and unnecessary force was not found.
Two months later, the same three officers ended up at the stop with Martavious Banks. Again, their body cameras were not activated. Banks’ family says he was shot in the back.