Martavious Banks, shot by police in 2018, files $10 million lawsuit

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The man who was shot and severely injured by Memphis police while running from officers last September has filed a $10 million civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis.

Attorneys for 26-year-old Martavious Banks say the three Memphis police officers involved in that shooting are also named in the suit.

The fate of this lawsuit, which includes newly released and explosive allegations, will play out in the months ahead at federal court. It’s the latest chapter in an officer-involved shooting which led to national headlines and sparked local protests one year ago.

The 14-year-page federal civil lawsuit asserts the city of Memphis “implemented careless and reckless policies” in how three officers handled the shooting and interaction with Banks last September in south Memphis.

“We feel as though Mr. Banks rights were violated,” said Banks’ attorney Art Horne.

Horne stands by one of the lawsuit’s noteworthy segments, which claims the responding officers were advised to turn off their body-worn cameras. 

“It went out over the radio and so I mean those are things that are very concerning,” said Horne.

Last September, Memphis police leaders said Banks sped away, ran from his car, and showed a weapon following a traffic stop.

The TBI took over when MPD leaders found out the officer who shot Banks didn’t have his body camera rolling and two other responding officers turned off their dash cameras.

“Part of the reason we have body cameras is so we that we have integrity with policing,” said Horne.

Horne said there’s also evidence to back up another claim laid out in the lawsuit, which stated “In order to avoid a verbal or audio record of the events, Memphis police officers at the scene wrote handwritten notes to each other.”

“There’s a lot of egregious behavior by the police department and a lot of things that are very disturbing,” said Horne.

Banks was released last month for charges connected to last year’s shooting.

The lawsuit seeks $10 million for damages for Banks and his family.

“It’s an amount we feel is fair. Mr. Banks, he is going to have problems the rest of his life,” said Horne.

The city of Memphis, which oversees the Memphis Police Department, declined to comment on the civil lawsuit.

One of those three MPD officers involved that night resigned from the department in February and was arrested last month for DUI and other charges. The other two officers were given unpaid suspensions.

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