Commissioner Ford: ‘I can assure you, I am not guilty’

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- From his home to his workplace to the office to which he was elected, we didn’t have any luck tracking down Commissioner Justin Ford in person on Wednesday.

“I don’t think he’s taking a whole lot of phone calls," someone at his office told WREG's Bridget Chapman.

Ford’s had an unusual reaction since being arrested on Sunday for assaulting his girlfriend.

He’s smiled, waved and given a thumbs up as cameras have followed him outside of jail and inside the courthouse.

However, the elected official hasn’t answered any of our questions.

“Mr. Ford has no comment," his attorney told the media. "Mr. Ford has no comment.”

A witness says he saw Ford put a woman into a chokehold, strangle her and refuse to let her leave the car they were in Sunday night.

“Next thing I know, I hear somebody yell, ‘Somebody help me, please,’” he told us.

After driving to different places we thought the commissioner may be to get answers, we ended up finding him on the Internet instead.

Someone posted on his Facebook page saying to pray for Ford, instead of crucifying him. The post got over 100 likes with many defending Ford.

Commissioner Ford thanked someone who said they were praying and wrote, “I can assure you all, I am not guilty” on another post.

We uncovered Ford’s also been accused of abusing a different girlfriend on three separate occasions in the past.

The victim in those cases didn’t want to comment on Wednesday, but her former neighbor says she remembers the commotion well.

“It was so bad that night that it went out to the street," she told us anonymously.

Ford was never prosecuted in those cases.

The Shelby County District Attorney's Office says victim testimony gives a jury a better understanding of what happened but unfortunately, many victims are fearful to talk.

Prosecutors say they can still go forward with witnesses only, depending on the facts of the case and what they saw.

The DA’s office said previous law changes have made prosecuting domestic violence cases a little easier.

Strangulation is now a C-felony and a third conviction on domestic assault is now an E-felony.