Group calls for more police transparency after officer-involved shooting

The group has made a list of demands

MPA address officer-involved shooting

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Rise Up Memphis is calling for more transparency from the Memphis Police Department.

A small group of protesters, including Martavious' mother Janice Banks, took their chants and demands to the front doors of Memphis Police Association.

“We come in peace and we’ve got representatives and preachers and the family,” a protester said.

In a news release, they made the following demands of the Memphis Police Department:

  1. The official release of the civil service officers name and badge numbers involved in the unlawful shooting on Gill Street by the police which riddled the home of a family due to a “suspected” traffic offense violation.
  2. The release of body cam & dash footage that we submitted (09-19-2019) in an open records request in conjunction with the Tennessee Public Records Act T.C.A. §10-7-503.  Records open to public inspection and the FOIA {The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information.
  3. Immediate change in internal policies which prohibits any involvement of law enforcement on the crime scene when a crime has occurred and the alleged suspect is a relative.
  4. Immediate meeting with Director Rallings and Mayor Jim Strickland for joint resolution.  
Activists want answers from MPD, MPA after shooting of Martavious Banks

Wednesday afternoon just before the protest, police revealed the identities of the three officers involved in the shooting.

“We’re not gonna stop none whatsoever; Mike Williams, you got to come out here,” Rise Up Memphis spokesman Pastor Steven Bradley said.

The MPA said President Williams did nothing improper on scene that night and notified a board member when he found out his son was involved.

"When there is an officer-involved shooting or there is a critical incident involving an officer, if an officer is injured, it is our protocol here at the MPA for either Mike or myself to be there,” said MPA Vice President Essica Cage.

Cage said when Williams first got the call, he didn’t know a relative of his was involved. He found out when he arrived on the scene.

"He called another board member to the scene to assist because he knew at that point he could not be involved in that,” Cage said.

Cage said Williams’ son was considered a ‘witness officer’ at first.

But once the TBI took control of the investigation, Williams made the decision to no longer be involved.

Rise Up is also demanding to know why MPA Director Mike Williams was allowed on the scene when his son was one of the officers involved.

“You you wasn’t (sic) supposed to be there but I see them raising up crime scene tape to let you off the scene,” Janice Banks said.

Banks said she recognized officer Christopher Nowell from a previous encounter between her son and police.

Group calls for more police transparency

Banks said her son is reportedly on life-support and remains unconscious.

“The bullet that shot him in his arm shattered all the bones in his arm,” Banks said.

Protesters including Banks’ mother Janice demanded Wednesday to know why Williams was there that night and accused him of tampering with the crime scene.

MPA denies that claim. “No one other than crime scene actually comes in to remove evidence or touch evidence,” Cage said. “Not even the investigators remove the evidence.”

Williams did not answer the door.

This all comes as a WMC Action News 5 investigation revealed that there is no blanket policy when it comes to disciplining officers who deactivate their body cameras.

Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other community leaders also met with residents at a town hall Tuesday night to discuss community relations with police.

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