MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two men have filed a $6 million lawsuit against the city of Memphis and several Memphis Police officers after an April chase where an officer was caught on camera driving into a man driving an ATV.
According to the lawsuit, Justin Griham, 18, and Emmanuel Meniru, 20, were driving ATVs with a group of others near Knight Arnold and Lamar on April 4, 2021. The suit says they were leaving the area when officers began a pursuit. The lawsuit says officers hit the ATVs driven by Griham and Meniru with police cruisers.
It goes on to claim that the two men were struck and restrained using excessive force, which caused additional injuries as they were handcuffed. The suit claims Griham had a broken rib at that time.
As we previously reported, Memphis police said the chase began after a dozen or more ATVs were driving illegally and recklessly through streets and into oncoming traffic near Knight Arnold and Lamar. After they refused to stop, a chase began. Griham and Meniru faced a long list of charges, including reckless driving. Court records showed that police arrested Meniru on similar charges just two weeks prior.
Video circulated on social media after the incident. It shows a police officer during a chase, going off road and hitting a man on an ATV. Video from another witness caught one of the officers driving on the wrong side of the road chasing the ATV before the crash.
Memphis police officer Taiyuan Brooks is the officer identified as hitting one of the ATV drivers. He was off the job pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. Brooks has been with the department since 2018.
The lawsuit identifies a second officer, A. Malone, and lists unidentified officers as John and Jane Does 1 through 10.
The lawsuit says Griham and Meniru “continue to endure future pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses,” and “are fearful of any future contact with law enforcement officers.”
The lawsuit claims officers violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Griham and Menriu by using excessive and unreasonable force unjustifiably, and falsely arresting them. The lawsuit also claims the other officers failed to intervene.
According to the lawsuit, the City of Memphis is liable because it sanctioned the practices, customs, and policies that led to the incident.
The lawsuit asks for $3 million each for Griham and Meniru.