Local politicians speak following Commissioner Henri Brooks’ arrest

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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.


    • willie jones

      How correct! The solution is to ensure that neither Brooks nor Wharton hold ANY type of office in Shelby County! Brooks needs jail time. It would be bad enough if a regular citizen acted in her manner, but a public figure, supposedly representing the masses,… a higher standard is mandated. And Wharton “not wanting to comment”? As a leader, that is what you do. YOU LEAD. Turning your head, fleeing from adversity, this is exactly why Memphis is on the down-swing. REAL Leaders would be addressing the financial status of the city, repairing the pot-hole ridden roadways, exterminating the blighted houses, providing safe trolley/MATA public transit, and in general – making the city PROSPEROUS!

  • Just saying

    HATE CRIME a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence.

  • Chad

    How can she be “on the radar for making racially charged comments” for the 2nd time in a month and still even be considered to remain in public office?!

  • Ricky

    She was put in office based on the color of her skin, by her constituents who did the same for Sheik Obama.

  • browning

    just another typical memphis skillet…..funny, they run the clippers owner out of basketball, then you have a bottom feeder like this one still riding a broom, no wonder memphis continues sinking to new lows, wont be much longer and that old gal will be about the only one left. by the way, methodist should terminate trash like that

  • Hard Truths

    Henri Brooks needs jail time.

    And the Wharton family would be wise to cut all their ties with her, the sooner the better.

    There is this very unbecoming tolerance of black racism in Memphis, and Henri Brooks is Exhibit A.

  • cjrex

    What is my just jaw just dropped. Do the reporters who post these stories ever proof read what they write?
    Oops I forgot they are all from Memphis.

  • Janet Eason

    Lets put this in reverse, a white woman throws a bottle of water on a black woman…..do you really think she wouldn’t still be in jail for a hate crime ???? How is this not a hate crime ???? First a parking spot, next, its when you want something done at the board meeting, and this persons vote depends on what race you are ???? Get her and all this rot from the mayor on down out of office….there are too many very well educated black men & woman out there whom could do great thing with this city, but not with this rot in the wood…….imo

  • Don

    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.


  • canadianwhiskeygirl

    boy u can sure tell electIon tIme Is just “around the corner”. ol hollywood pulls hIs stunt to get attentIon, other polItIcIans follow suIt for the same reason. theyr all goIng to try to upstage the other as a publIcIty stunt, get attentIon. what.a screwed up way.to try garnerIng more votes. so chIldIsh and Immature BUT WELCOME TO MEMPHIS,FOLKS!!! memphIs so.close to the deep south states where racIsm reIgns!!!

  • Terrie

    OK, I have decided to send these reports & a letter to the STATE! Someone needs to know that brooks is consistantly breaking the LAW & needs to be investigated.

  • Arguenot

    We need to live for today and work together for the future. These circus side-shows distract from the very real looming catastrophes that Memphis faces with fiscal irresponsibility, crime, horrific education, poverty, graft, weakening infrastructure, ..the list seems endless.
    Keep focusing on the nonsense while Rome burns…. Maybe we should hand out fiddles to the Council Members…..

  • Phyllis

    What do you mean AC that she was right? Are you kidding me, for one thing she was not supposed to be in that parking lot. YOu need to cut your ties with that woman, and do not tell me you your wife, and son don’t agree with her, shame they don’t have you on tape so you could be grilled like the other man. You ran your campaign with all black and latino’s on your ads, and I called you on it and you lied to my face. There is no doubt in my mind all of the black community will support her, and that is seventy percent of Memphis, so we don’t stand a prayer in hades do we. The other woman was not white she was biracial. What a bunch of ignorant people we have in this government and all over the country. Tell me AC who are the minorities in Memphis? The census states seventy percent black, fifteen percent Latino, and whatever is in the other fifteen percent that is how they put it.

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