MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Martavious Banks has filed a lawsuit against the City of Memphis and three Memphis police officers.
Banks was shot by police on September 17, 2018. He then spent nearly a year in jail before being released last month after pleading guilty to several charges, including evading arrest and reckless driving.
Police said the three officers at the scene the night Banks was shot did not have their body cameras on during the exchange. It started as a traffic stop that Banks fled from before officers opened fire.
“They were told from their superior to cut the body cameras off. And then after they were told to cut the body cameras off and they did. They communicated via notes,” said Arthur Horne, Banks’ attorney.
Attorney Arthur Horne has yet to see what little video is available from the night of the 2018 shooting.
Horne claims officers told Banks they ran his tags and found out he did not have insurance. MPD vehicles do not have technology to be able to find out insurance status from tag numbers. The lawsuit claims Banks knew this, and feared for his life, and that’s why he ran from police.
Banks took a plea deal and will serve three years of probation.
The same day Banks was released from jail, the officer accused of shooting him, Jamarcus Jeames, was arrested on unrelated charges. Jeames previously resigned from the force.
The lawsuit claims police unlawfully assaulted Banks and shot him over 20 times. The suit claims excessive force was used and the body cameras were shut off to conceal what happened. It also claims that police were communicating with each other at the scene by using handwritten notes.
It also claims Banks was falsely arrested without probable cause.
The suit claims the City of Memphis is also to blame because of its failure to train the officers.
Banks’ lawyers are seeking $10 million in damages.