IN COURT: Commissioner Brooks Charged After Altercation In Parki - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

IN COURT: Commissioner Brooks Charged After Altercation In Parking Lot

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) - UPDATE: Commissioner Henri Brooks is expected to be in court this morning. She is charged with simple assault for allegedly throwing water on a woman and calling her racist names.

Stay with FOX13 as we follow this story and bring you the latest developments.
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UPDATED: Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, facing an arrest warrant for an alleged simple assault over a parking space at a hospital on Tuesday in Midtown Memphis, turned herself to Jail East Thursday evening.

She refused to comment on the misdemeanor charge of Assault-Bodily Harm while walking into Jail East. Andre Wharton, her attorney, said her client will fight the charge.

"We're not making any comments," Wharton said.

Commissioner Brooks didn't speak as she walked into Jail East with her attorney to turn herself in. She was fingerprinted, photographed, and booked.

"We're here to address it, find out about the warrant, came out here promptly and we're here to obviously address this through the proper process and that is the justice system," Wharton said.

Wharton said he and his client will review the allegations.

"Obviously they're troubling to me," Wharton said. "One of the questions you ask, has a crime been committed? Are there defenses to an alleged crime? Has another crime been committed that has not been charged? Was Ms. Brooks a victim in this situation? All those question have to come about."

Commissioner Brooks will make her first appearance in Shelby County General Sessions Court Friday at 9 a.m. She is out of jail on a $100 bond.


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(from earlier)

An arrest warrant has been issued for Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, who is being investigated for assault stemming from an incident Tuesday over a hospital parking space at Methodist University Hospital in Midtown Memphis.

As well a special prosecutor has been appointed in the case, the Shelby County District Attorney's Office Thursday afternoon.

Thursday afternoon District Attorney General Amy Weirich asked the Tennessee Attorney General's Conference in Nashville to appoint a special prosecutor in the case because Commissioner Brooks is part of the County Commission that funds about half of our budget each year.

District Attorney General Garry Brown of the 28th Judicial District, who oversees Haywood, Crockett and Gibson counties, was assigned by the Tennessee Attorney General's Conference to handle the case, the Shelby County DA's Office said.

Witnesses say Commissioner Brooks yelled racial slurs at the victim. The victim said Commissioner Brooks knocked her phone out of her hand and poured water on her.

Jeff Moder, spokesperson for Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital, released the following statement: "We have been made aware of an alleged incident involving one of our associates and are fully cooperating with law enforcement."

According to a Memphis Police report Commissioner Brooks told officers she was the victim. 

Cellphone video obtained by FOX13 News from a witness in parking lot of Methodist Hospital shows footage after the alleged assault took place.

The police report said a woman who police called the victim and the suspect, identified as Commissioner Brooks, argued over a hospital parking spot. The report says the victim was backing into this spot when the commissioner pulled into it behind her. The victim swerved in her SUV and hit a tree in the lot.
 
The victim told police that Commissioner Brooks got out of her SUV and started yelling. She told officers when she tried to take a photo of Brooks' SUV, the commissioner snatched the cellphone out of her hand and dumped water on her.

Three independent witnesses confirmed the story to the officers. They said Commissioner Brooks used racial slurs.

In the cellphone video the victim told one of the witnesses what happened.

"I said, I don't know who you are. She goes I don't know who you are. I don't know who you think you are. This isn't a matter of who I think. She got onto me for being, she goes do you think you're White or something, and my jaw just dropped because I'm mixed and I'm like are you kidding me."

But Commissioner Brooks told the police officers she was confronted by the victim and Brooks said the woman was spitting in her her face as she yelled.


MORE: Commissioner Brooks comments on alleged racial remarks
MORE: Commissioners want Brooks to apologize for controversial comments
MORE: Religious, civil rights groups defend Commissioner Brooks


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