The teenage daughter of Phyllis Banks, the Albany Police Department’s media manager, told police that her mother struck her multiple times with her shoe and threw her police radio at her during a dispute about the teen’s desire to attend a football game.
The dispute occurred about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Banks’ home in the 800 block of Shelton Court in east Dougherty County. Banks was arrested and charged with battery, a misdemeanor, and jailed overnight. Dougherty County police handled the matter because it occurred outside the Albany city limits. Her daughter was not charged.
Banks, who is single, has two children, both teenage girls. The dispute was with her youngest child. Police said Banks’ other child called police during the altercation, and told her that her sister refused her request to leave Banks alone. The older child refused to give police a written statement, however.
The younger child sustained a 6- to 8-nch contusion to her forehead, police said, and Banks, sustained a 5-inch scratch on the left side of her face and two 5o to 6-inch scratches on her chest. Police described the injuries as “superficial.”
Police said that the complaint is the first against Banks by her daughter, but that Banks is the subject of at least one previous court order. Police say they found no evidence of substance abuse at the scene. Banks has not responded to The Albany Journal’s interview requests.
Albany Police Chief John Proctor and City Manager Alfred Lott refuse to answer questions about Banks’ employment status and will not say whether Banks’ portable police radio, which is public property valued at least $2,000, was damaged. Banks works directly for Proctor.
Albany police employee Steve Butler, who serves as police spokesman in Banks’ absence, was serving in that role Monday.
Earlier this month, Banks was involved in a domestic dispute with a woman outside a Zaxby’s restaurant in Albany. The woman said that after a heated argument witnessed by one of Banks’ daughters, Banks blocked her vehicle with Banks’ vehicle in the restaurant parking lot. Albany police officers responded and the woman was charged with battery for allegedly spitting Banks. Banks was not charged; the woman filed a complaint with the Police Department about Banks; she says Banks cursed at her and should also have been charged with a crime for her actions.
Banks worked about seven years as WFXL-TV reporter and anchor; she also managed a Starbucks coffee shop in Albany and worked at Bath & Body Works at the Albany Mall. She was hired in October 2007 by former Police Chief James Younger, who was forced to resign amid a rocky tenure that included having a romantic relationship with Banks. She is the only person to hold the media manager position.
The Younger-Banks relationship was a personnel policy violation by Younger that Lott permitted, even after it was publicly exposed. City employees are not allowed to date their subordinates. Additionally, Younger periodically thrust Banks in the position of defending and commenting on Younger’s ethical transgressions.
Also during her tenure with the Police Department, Banks had a romantic relationship with a police officer, against whom she filed a protective order.
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