Local politicians speak following Commissioner Henri Brooks’ arrest

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn.- Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and fellow Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism spoke to WREG Saturday, for the first time since the arrest of Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks.

Brooks faces assault charges after a woman claims Brooks threw a bottle of water on her during a an argument over a parking spot Tuesday.

Cell phone video WREG obtained from a witness only shows part of the story; the aftermath of an alleged fight between Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks and Memphis woman Liese Nichols.

You can`t see Nichols in the video, but you can hear her describe the altercation to another woman.

“She got on to me. She said ‘do you think your white or something?’ My just jaw just dropped because I’m mixed. Are you kidding me, why are you making this a racial issue” said Nichols.

Chism says Brooks deserves a day in court.

“If she did everything they said she did, she did right by getting herself a lawyer,” said Chism.

Brooks’ lawyer is Andre Wharton, Memphis mayor AC Wharton`s son. But despite his family ties to the case, Mayor Wharton is staying quiet.

“The courts of law will have to figure that out. I`m not touching that one way or the other, I`ve never don`t that with anybody. I won`t do that on this particular case,” said Wharton.

This is the second time within a month Brooks is on the radar for making racially charged comments. Last month during a commission meeting she told a Hispanic man, his struggle wasn`t equal to hers.

“I think you`ll find in the confines of the black community, they feel that she was right. The manner in which she said it was not conducive to the well-being of all races in this city and county,” said Chism.

“Anytime something tends to divide us, it`s serious,” said Wharton.

But even though Wharton doesn`t support Brook`s comments last month, a campaign sign supporting Brooks in the August election still stands in his home`s yard.

“How can you not stand for those statements, but stand for the candidate?” asked WREG’s Elise Preston.

“Again I`ve said from the very beginning, those ought to be dealt with separate and apart from anything political,” replied Wharton.

Brooks still has three months left to serve on the county commission. But she`s currently running for Juvenile Court Clerk. This weekend, many are questioning if the controversial leader is fit to serve at all.

“That`s for the people of this city and county to decide. If they decide they want her in that position, they`ll vote for her. If they decide she`s gone off the reservation, they won’t vote for her,” said Chism.


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