MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., thinks Commissioner Henri Brooks’ behavior goes against everything Dr. King and so many others worked for during the Civil Rights era.
Memphis’ first black city council chairman, Fred Davis, spoke out on the Brooks’ arrest.
Mayor A C Wharton refused to go on camera or speak about the arrest.
However, his wife Ruby, who’s involved in Brooks’ campaign. and his son Andre, who is Brooks’ attorney, both came to the commissioner’s defense.
Davis was a champion for civil rights in Memphis. He knows the pressures of public service and said it means heightened responsibility.
“The job description doesn’t have role model on it,” Davis said. “Not withstanding that, you end up being one whether you want to be or not.”
Commissioner Brooks is charged with simple assault. Witnesses shot video of the incident and said Brooks poured water on a woman and yelled racial slurs over a parking space earlier this week.
If it is true, Davis said the behavior is unacceptable.
“I think some bad decisions were made, some decisions that are very difficult to defend.”
Mayor Wharton would not talk about Brooks, but a campaign sign outside his house clearly shows his family still supports her.
“It doesn’t change anything! She’s moving on!” Ruby Wharton said.
Brooks’ attorney, Andre Wharton, said, “In terms of her supporters, her potential supporters, I think they need to isolate the two and look at her qualifications.” T
hose qualifications include reforms at Shelby County Juvenile Court over the way minorities are treated.
However, Davis said Brooks’ current actions are hurting race relations, and her sense of entitlement will get her nowhere.
“There are some things you can’t take,” Davis said. “You can only earn.”
WREG reached out to several of Brooks’ fellow commissioners. None of them wanted to talk about the arrest.
She only has a couple of months left in that office.