Man shot by police last year indicted; officers won’t face charges

Martavious Banks (Source: SCSO)
Martavious Banks (Source: SCSO)(SCSO)
Updated: May. 10, 2019 at 5:41 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A grand jury indicted the man who was shot by Memphis police officers last year.

Martavious Banks, 26, was shot during a police chase in September. Officers said he fled after getting pulled over in South Memphis when he lacked an ID and proper insurance.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stepped in to investigate and found that officers turned body cameras off during the chase. They completed their investigation in January, according to the Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Police officials determined the four officers involved violated MPD’s policy and procedures. Three of those officers were disciplined for not having their cameras on. A fourth officer resigned.

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

Weirich’s office released a statement following Banks’ indictment, saying the officers won’t face criminal charges.

“There is no evidence of any criminal conduct on the part of these officers,” reads the statement from Amy Weirich’s office. She declined to comment further or release any existing body camera footage because of the pending case against Banks.

Banks is charged with these offenses stemming from September 17, 2018: evading arrest, unlawful possession of a weapon, driving while license suspended, reckless driving

He was also indicted on charges from 2016 and 2017, including evading arrest, violating probation, domestic assault, assault, and driving with a suspended license.

His bond was set at $26,500.

Police say Banks tried to get away after being pulled over.

"When he was being chased by police that day, he had warrants for the traffic citations and for the violation of probation here in criminal court," said Art Horne, Banks' attorney.

We spoke to Horne at an unrelated court hearing Friday.

At the time, he had not seen the indictment.

"We've got a lot of tough questions to answer and we have a tough road ahead of us to figure out what our next steps are going to be," said Horne.

Three Memphis Police officers were disciplined following the shooting of Banks after an investigation found the officers violated policies regarding their radios and body cameras.

A fourth officer resigned prior to an administrative hearing.

WMC Action News 5 spoke to Martavious Banks' brother, Jamarius.

He says he doesn’t agree with the DA's decision.

“The officers should have been fired and they should be treated like any of us regular people would be. They should be charged," said Jamarius Banks.

He's asking the DA to reconsider her decision.

Martavious Banks will be back in court on Monday on an unrelated case.

Because the September 2018 case is still pending, Weirich says her office cannot yet release any body-worn camera footage or details from the TBI report.

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