Henri Brooks appears in court following assault arrest

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks appeared in court Friday over a reported argument that turned into assault.

A cellphone captured the aftermath of the incident, but Brooks’ attorney says there is more to the video.

“The tapes are only a piece of the puzzle. You can determine some of those things are in favor of Ms. Brooks,” said attorney Andre Wharton.

Despite facing misdemeanor charges of assault, Brooks and her lawyers say she is the victim.

“Commissioner Brooks, do you feel like what happened was fair?” asked WREG’s Elise Preston to Commissioner Brooks, who did not respond.

The Shelby County commissioner wouldn't answer any of our questions as we followed her outside 201 Poplar Friday, where she remained silent before the judge.

“Don’t confuse her silence, she has a right to remain silent,” said Wharton.

Brooks appeared before a judge Friday with her lawyer, Wharton. She's facing assault charges after an argument over a parking spot outside Methodist Central Hospital where Brooks is a Corporate Community Government Researcher and Specialist.

“I don’t see it, I don't see where a crime was committed,” said Wharton.

Cellphone video WREG obtained from a witness only shows the aftermath of the argument. The video shows the other woman involved explaining what happened.

“She assaulted me. She poured water all over me,” said Liese Nichols.

The woman told police Brooks also shouted racial slurs at her.

“Commissioner Brooks keeps popping up in the news for situations involving racial undertones. Did she say anything to you about that specifically?” asked WREG’s Elise Preston.

“I only know what you all report. I can't divulge client communications, but context is so important,” replied Wharton.

In the tape, the only encounter between the two is when Nichols, the woman pressing charges against Brooks, walks over to the county commissioner's truck. Nichols was told to leave by a security guard taking a report.

Those reports will be scrutinized in court, along with testimony.

For now, Brooks, who is usually outspoken, isn’t saying anything about this argument that turned violent.

“She wants to talk, I'm sure. Commissioner Brooks is an outspoken person. She has a story to tell, but we are playing it out in the justice system,” said Wharton.

The judge in this case recused himself Friday morning because the Shelby County commission handles the General Sessions Court budget.

The courts will have to appoint another judge. A special prosecutor has already been appointed to handle the case.


  • Phyllis

    Wasn’t that AC Wharton’s wife she was holding hands with and his son? So does that mean the Mayor of this city supports racism against whites? I know he did in his campaign it was obivious in his ads how he felt about all the people in Memphis TN.

    • Hard Truths

      The Wharton family needs to put distance between themselves and this contemptible racist cockroach.

      • Indian Andy

        Since her lawyer is AC Wharton’s son, there will be political backlash if the younger Wharton loses this case. The judge and the victim’s attorney know this. I predict Brooks will be acquitted. I’d like to see her in jail and in those racial sensitivity clases. She’d flunk out.

      • Phyllis

        There is no doubt in my mind that she will get off with a slap on the wrist, like I said before and will say again, if it were the other way around, that person would be gone, but apologising profusely as usual.

  • Just saying

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

    • Phyllis

      Well this is not her first rodeo, she has done this before. Several years back I was in a grocery store and I came upon an elderly blind man, I asked him if he needed help and he did. I was walking him to the front door and there was a crowd trying to get out, she pushed past me, I said lady can you not see this man is blind and needs help without you pushing him. She turned around to me pure hate on her face, do you know who I am, I said do you know who I am, she said I will show you who I am you white B, I said come on lady if you think you can. She left, at that time I had no idea who this woman was. The elderly blind man was black so I am not the racist she is.

    • Indian Andy

      Yes, why isn’t this a hate crime? If a white person had assaulted Ms. Brooks, it would be a hate crime – a Federal offense.

      • Phyllis

        Because it is black on white, we are not considered as human beings we are just white~ Why is she still working at Methodist, this is not the first time she has done this, the white folks would be gone. I say this to Methodist again, you had better take action against this woman, if you do not, I will change all my doctors linked to you, and any procedures I need to have done ( I hope I do not need any more) they will be done at Baptist. TAKE ACTION METHODIST HOSPITAL.

    • Thomas H. Evans

      But with a posting name such as yours you are not a racist, just being ignorant. What’s makes you different from Ms. Brooks? There are way too many sick people in this city, Black and White, and you certainly fit the mole!

    • Phyllis

      Methodist hospital needs to fire her as well and I did email them and I did tell them that, had it been the other way around, the individual would have been fired on the spot. So Methodist University Hosp. supports racism, I do not think they need my business any more. Also, that parking lot is for patients only, the staff have been told not to park there because it stays to full with patients. It is obivious that Methodist does not care about all of its patients or this woman would be gone. I think the publice should contact Methodist University to find out what their policy is. AC was always a nice person until he became mayor, now he has changed, he only supports one race, and it is not white folks, he knows my feelings on that.

  • Sickofthelazyracist ni-gg-ers

    Good on you Phyliss I’m going to give it too them like they haven’t ever seen.

    • Phyllis

      Good I hope everyone gives them heck, or reads them the riot act. Methodist did say they were very upset about it and were taking steps as they would to any employee. I replied and told them, if it were the other way around, the person would already be gone.!!


    Kind of flies in the face of that “One Memphis” campaign doesn’t it? Don’t tell me that wasn’t sincere!?!

      • Phyllis

        Have you been out in Midtown this morning Mike? I have been out since six thirty, if you do you will see what I mean. Lots of runners out there and I was the minority!

    • Phyllis

      You have that right, I called him out on it and he denied it, but everyone saw it, he had black and Hispanic people in his ads. Write Methodist and email, if she hates white people then we do not need to deal with Methodist hospital. They did reply to my email.

  • willie jones

    Well put, totally correct (if you are truthful and honest with yourself – you have to agree with this!).

  • Ricky

    Truly sad that Ruby and Andre would get anywhere near this sorry racist, after she espoused her racists’ views. Speaks volumes about the Whartons.

    • Phyllis

      It is sad Ricky, and it is sad that Methodist hospital employees staff like this. This is not the first or second time she has done this, but it keeps going unpunished. It is also sad for Henri, she is so full of anger and hate, you can tell it by the way she talks to people. I always did like AC, his wife, well that is a different matter, she can be very ugly at times. I hope people take notice next time there is a mayoral race. We the people cannot let this racist stuff keep going on, both sides are guilty, but one side gets punished and the others do not.

  • Just saying, too

    Some of you don’t have the sense that God gave a rock! While there were some legitimate dialogue in the beginning of this post, MOST of you went quickly down hill. How can you complain about Brooks being racist towards whites; yet, use the N-word over and over in screen names and in your post? AND those of you not using that term, simply reply to one another as if you didn’t see the word used in the previous post. YOU are guilty by association and silence! You people have taken what could have been a just cause to rally both blacks and whites in a protest against the city and Methodist into nothing but a joke. Who can take a RACIST seriously when then they are protesting about another RACIST?

    • Phyllis

      I have not called anyone that, and if you are calling me a racist you are wrong. There is racism in Memphis but not just against blacks it goes both ways, and it needs to stop. It is always a white person apologising for saying something bad but never people like Henri Brooks, who I have personally come under attack from in a grocery store, but I guarantee she got as good as she gave to me. I will say again, this is not her first rodeo or her second she has always been this way, and if Methodist wants to employ a racist, then I will no longer deal with them. As for guilt by association, does that also apply to AC, his wife and family? Because if his wife wants to hold hands with her I would and will say the same about her. I am not born in this country, but because I am white I have been called everything, and I can tell you, I am tired of it been tired of it for a long time, it is now time for me to fight back, and not put up with any BS that people like Henri Brooks dish out. If that is racism, then count me in.

      • Just saying, too

        ‘”…that people like Henri Brooks dish out. If that is racism, then count me in.”

        It looks like you took care of that for me. Regardless of white, black, or otherwise…racism IS wrong. However, your rant only proves one thing…you are not ready for a serious dialogue. You only want to prove your point on how blacks are racist and whites are not the only ones that behave in such a manner. IF you were paying attention, you would have noticed that Mrs. Brooks was called on the carpet by a black woman (good for her). Not every black person in this city agrees with Mrs. Brooks deplorable behavior or the Mayor’s refusal to discuss it AND it is time for EVERYONE in office to go NOW. BUT, there is no way to get any of them out of office when some of you are too silly to get past the one or two people (that happen to be black) that personally offended you. I’m sure for every person that offended you, a black person could give you a similar story. The bottom line is that it is hard for me to believe that in 2014, race is still this grand of an issue (primarily, in the South). If anyone decides to get serious about pulling this city out of this quagmire and start a real dialogue, petition, or formal action, I’ll be waiting to recruit, assist, or help in any way. Until then…much of the things posted on this board is, unfortunately, a joke!

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