Man shot by Memphis police officer awake and talking, his attorney says

By Published: October 11, 2018 6:55 PM CT

Martavious Banks, the man shot Sept. 17 by a Memphis police officer, is awake and talking about the night he was critically wounded, an attorney representing him said during a press conference Thursday.

Standing outside of Regional One Health, Baltimore attorney Billy Murphy provided an update on the condition of 25-year-old Banks.

Murphy is no stranger to representing families in officer-involved incidents. He represented the family of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man killed by Baltimore police in 2015. He won a $6.4 million settlement for Gray’s family against the city of Baltimore. 

During the 4 p.m. press conference outside the Midtown hospital, Murphy made a brief statement about Banks and the shooting.  

“We have good news. He is doing well,” Murphy said. “He is able to talk. He is able to articulate what he remembers. He got shot twice in the back as he was going into a house. There is no justification for that. And we will be aggressively pursuing this matter to its conclusion. We want to make sure there is no cover up of any kind. That the truth comes out, so that justice can be done in this case.”

He was joined outside the hospital by Banks’ mother, brother, sister and other family members and friends, but he would not allow any of them to answer questions from the media.

The press conference lasted less than five minutes. Memphis attorney Art Horne, who is working on the case with Murphy, was also at the hospital, but he did not address the media about the Banks shooting.

Banks was shot on Sept. 17  during a traffic stop in the 1200 block of Gill Avenue in South Memphis. Police said he reached for a gun in the car, then jumped out of the car and ran with officers in pursuit. Banks was then shot in the back, according to his family.

The day after the shooting, Memphis police announced that the three officers involved in the incident turned off their body cameras and in-car cameras during the shooting and chase. Other officers on the scene had their cameras on and there is video, but police would not say what the footage shows.

The officer who shot Banks was identified by MPD as Jamarcus Jeames, an officer who has been on the force since 2017. The other two officers who were on the scene and involved in the chase were identified as Christopher Nowell and Michael Williams II.

Williams, who is the son of Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams, joined the department in August 2015. Williams was disclipined by MPD in the past when he turned off his body camera in another incident in 2017. 

Nowell is the longest serving of the three, joining the force in September 2014. They all work at the Airways precinct.

Murphy said he is the lead attorney on the case and would get back in touch with the media soon.

After Banks was shot, activists protested the officer-involved shooting and called for an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The critical shooting was turned over to the TBI, but in the past, the TBI only investigated fatal officer-involved shootings in Memphis and Shelby County at the request of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. 

The Banks shooting spurred Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer and Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. to recently sponsor a joint resolution in hopes the Tennessee General Assembly will pass legislation to change the way officer-involved shootings are handled by the TBI.

State Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Sen. Brian Kelsey have sponsored similar legislation over the last two years requesting that the TBI be called immediately for fatal and nonfatal officer-involved shootings.


Memphis Police Department Shootings Officer-Involved Shooting Martavious Banks
Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones covers criminal justice issues and general assignment news for The Daily Memphian. She previously was a reporter at The Commercial Appeal.

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