One Officer Resigns, Three Officers Suspended In Martavious Banks Officer-Involved Shooting

Local News

The Memphis Police officer accused of shooting Martavious Banks during a traffic stop resigned, and three officers were disciplined.

Memphis Police released a very detailed report about what went down the night of September 17, 2018. Police officials determined the four officers involved violated Memphis Police Department’s policy and procedures.

The officers who were departmentally charged with violations are Lieutenant Charles Mowery, Officer Michael Williams, Officer Christopher Nowell and former Officer Jamarcus Jeames, who Memphis Police say was responsible for shooting Banks.

“We have one of the best police departments in the nation because we have dedicated officers, the best training, and departmental policies. As the Director of Police Services, it is unacceptable when an officer does not follow our policies. Any violation of policy will not be tolerated,” said Director Michael Rallings.

From the Memphis Police Department:

The officers who were departmentally charged with policy violations are as follows:

Lieutenant Charles Mowery

Lieutenant Charles Mowery of Airways Station- Lt. Mowery, being the third lieutenant on the scene, arrived after the officer-involved shooting had occurred and the scene had been secured. However, once arriving on the scene, Lt. Mowery did not turn on his body-worn camera. As a result, Lt. Mowery’s body-worn camera did not record his actions while on the scene. Lt. Mowery was issued a statement of charges for departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras. On February 6, 2019, an administrative hearing was held, and the charges were sustained.

Lt. Mowery received a 5-day unpaid suspension for violation of DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras.

Officer Michael Williams

Officer Michael Williams of Airways Station- Officer Williams is one of the three officers who was involved in the initial traffic stop on September 17, 2018, that occurred in the area of Gill and Silver. While on the scene, Officer Williams did not make proper notification to the MPD’s Communications Bureau (dispatcher) advising of his location or nature of his special (self-initiated action). Additionally, once the driver of the stopped vehicle fled the scene, Officer Williams did not advise MPD’s Communications Bureau. Furthermore, Officer Williams communicated with the other officers via the car-to-car radio frequency and did not use the primary radio frequency. As a result, the Airways Station dispatcher was unaware of Officer Williams’s activities. In doing so, this placed Officer Williams in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulation to wit: Radio Procedures.

Also, once the driver of the stopped vehicle fled the scene, Officer Williams began to pursue the fleeing driver without making notification to MPD’s Communications Bureau. As a result, the Airways Station dispatcher nor the shift supervisor was notified that a vehicle pursue was occurring.

Although Officer Williams reportedly lost sight of the fleeing driver and other officers, by not making proper notification to MPD’s Communications Bureau nor seeking approval to engage in a pursuit, this placed Officer Williams in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy. Also, although Officer Williams’ patrol car was not equipped with an in-car video system, Officer Williams did activate his body-worn camera during the original traffic stop. Officer Williams’ body-worn camera remained activated initially while Officer Williams was driving his patrol car in pursuit of the fleeing driver; however once Officer Williams lost sight of the fleeing driver and other officers, he deactivated his body-worn camera.

As a result, Officer Williams’ body-worn camera did not record his actions while driving in his patrol car in its entirety. Due to Officer Williams deactivating his body-worn camera prior to the completion of his activities while searching for the fleeing driver; Officer Williams was found to be in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras. It should be noted that Officer Williams did activate his body-worn camera upon his arrival at 1258 Gill while the officer-involved shooting was occurring.

Furthermore, during this investigation, when inventorying Officer Williams’ equipment, two rounds of ammunition were unaccounted for from Officer Williams’ extra magazines which are carried on Officer Williams’ duty belt. However, Officer Williams’ firearm was checked, and it had not been fired. Officer Williams was unable to account for the two missing rounds of ammunition. By not having the required thirty-seven rounds of ammunition, Officer Williams was found to be in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulation to wit: Weapons.

On February 21, 2019, Officer Williams’ administrative hearing concluded, in which all aforementioned charges were sustained.

Officer Williams received a 20-day unpaid suspension and a written reprimand for the below charges.

DR 101 Compliance with Regulation to wit: Radio Procedures- 10-day suspension

DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy- 5-day suspension

DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras – 5-day suspension

DR 101 Compliance with Regulation to wit: Weapons- Written Reprimand

Officer Christopher Nowell

Officer Christopher Nowell of Airways Station- Officer Nowell is one of the three officers who was involved in the initial traffic stop on September 17, 2018, that occurred in the area of Gill and Silver. Officer Nowell, being the initial contact officer, observed the driver disregarded a stop sign, at which time Officer Nowell conducted a traffic stop in the area of Gill and Silver. Officer Nowell did activate his body-worn camera and in-car video system. Upon approaching the driver, Officer Nowell reported that he advised the driver of a different violation and did not mention the fact to the driver that the driver had disregarded a stop sign in order to avoid an argument. During the traffic stop, Officer Nowell also neglected to notify MPD’s Communications Bureau (dispatcher) of his actions. Additionally, once the driver of the stopped vehicle fled the scene, Officer Nowell did not advise MPD’s Communications Bureau. Furthermore, Officer Nowell communicated with the other officers via the car-to-car radio frequency and did not use the primary radio frequency. As a result, the Airways Station dispatcher was unaware of Officer Nowell’s activities. In doing so, Officer Nowell violated departmental regulations 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Radio Procedures.

Also, once the driver fled the scene, Officer Nowell began to pursue the driver without making notification to MPD’s Communications Bureau.

As a result, neither the Airways Station dispatcher nor the shift supervisor was notified that a vehicle pursuit was occurring.

Although Officer Nowell advised that he was unable to continue in the pursuit due to the condition of his patrol car, Officer Nowell stayed in the area and followed the pursuit route. By not making proper notification to MPD’s Communications Bureau nor seeking approval to engage in a pursuit, this placed Officer Nowell in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy.

Additionally, Officer Nowell’s body-worn camera remained activated initially while Officer Nowell was driving his patrol car in pursuit of the fleeing driver; however once Officer Nowell lost sight of the fleeing driver and other officers, he deactivated his body-worn camera.

As a result, Officer Nowell’s body-worn camera did not record his actions while driving in his patrol car in its entirety. Due to Officer Nowell deactivating his body-worn camera prior to the completion of his activities while searching for the fleeing driver; Officer Nowell was found to be in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras. It should be noted that Officer Nowell did activate his body-worn camera upon his arrival at 1258 Gill. Officer Nowell arrived on the scene after the officer-involved shooting occurred.

On February 21, 2019, Officer Nowell’s administrative hearing concluded.

Officer Nowell received a 20-day unpaid suspension for the below charges.

DR 101 Compliance with Regulation to wit: Radio Procedures- 10-day suspension

DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy- 5-day suspension

DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras – 5-day suspension

Former Officer Jamarcus Jeames

Former Officer Jamarcus Jeames- On February 15, 2019, prior to the conclusion of Jamarcus Jeames’ administrative hearing, Jamarcus Jeames resigned from the Memphis Police Department.

Former Officer Jeames is one of the three officers who was involved in the initial traffic stop on September 17, 2018, that occurred in the area of Gill and Silver. Former Officer Jeames, when arriving on the scene of the traffic stop, used his patrol car to block the front of the driver’s vehicle during the traffic stop. In doing so, this placed former Officer Jeames in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Traffic. Additionally, during the traffic stop, former Officer Jeames neglected to notify MPD’s Communications Bureau (dispatcher) of his actions. Furthermore, once the driver of the stopped vehicle fled the scene, former Officer Jeames did not advise MPD’s Communications Bureau. Former Officer Jeames also communicated with the other officers via the car-to-car radio frequency and did not use the primary radio frequency. As a result, the Airways Station dispatcher was unaware of former Officer Jeames’ activities. In doing so, former Officer Jeames violated departmental regulations 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Traffic and 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Radio Procedures.

Also, once the driver fled the scene, former Officer Jeames pursued the driver in a reckless manner and did not make notification pertaining to the pursuit to MPD’s Communications Bureau. Former Officer Jeames also did not activate his blue lights during the pursuit. As a result, former Officer Jeames neglected the safety of others; additionally, neither the Airways Station dispatcher nor the shift supervisor was notified that a vehicle pursue was occurring. In doing so, former Officer Jeames violated departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy.

Additionally, when pursuing the driver, former Officer Jeames’ body-worn camera and in-car video system were activated. However, former Officer Jeames’ deactivated both cameras non-simultaneously, meaning either his body-worn camera was recording or his in-car video system was recording, but not at the same time due to he was deactivating one or the other throughout his pursuit of the driver. Also, upon former Officer Jeames’ arrival to the scene at 1258 Gill, being the officer who did fire his weapon at the driver, former Officer Jeames did not initially active his body-worn camera. His actions during the officer-involved shooting were not captured on his body-worn camera. As a result, former Officer Jeames’ body-worn camera and in-car video system did not record his actions in its entirety. Former Officer Jeames’ body-worn camera was not reactivated (in continuous recording mode) until after the shooting at 1258 Gill occurred. Due to former Officer Jeames deactivating his body-worn camera and in-car video system; this placed former Officer Jeames in violation of departmental regulation 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras.

On February 15, 2019, during Jamarcus Jeames’ administrative hearing, in which he was facing the aforementioned departmental charges of DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Traffic, DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Radio Procedures, DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: Police Vehicle Operation/Pursuit Policy, and DR 101 Compliance with Regulations to wit: In-car/Body Worn Cameras, Jamarcus Jeames resigned from the Memphis Police Department prior to the conclusion of the administrative hearing. This case will be held in abeyance.

Jamarcus Jeames could have faced disciplinary actions from a written reprimand up to termination.

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