Councilman Ford responds to comments from officer's wife

Councilman Ford responds to comments from officer's wife

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It was a heated city council meeting Tuesday when Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., responded to comments made by Fran Triplett, a Memphis Police Officer's wife. She claimed she was intimidated and threatened by Ford's actions at a prior city council meeting.

Ford cleared things up from the podium. He said he was defending his character after it was questioned by prejudice.

"Don't ever think that you can intimidate me, or any of your cohorts ever, because you can't," said Ford.

A video recording posted to YouTube captured the raw emotion.

"I don't know why a council member, an elected council member, would challenge a citizen," said Triplett.

Triplett said for the past two years she's been vocal at city council meetings regarding police and fire benefits, but in December 2015 at a meeting she missed, she said Councilman Ford called her out.

"I challenge Fran Triplett to come to District 6 and exercise their first amendment rights. But remember when you do, my people in District 6 will reciprocate," said Triplett, as she read out loud at a city council meeting what she said Ford publicly said at a prior meeting.

Triplett said she didn't know why Ford called her out, nor did she know what his statement meant. She said her husband was concerned about her safety.

"He reached out by going to a family member's funeral home. It was not Mr. Ford's place of business, he does not work there, and he was not present.  My husband never saw Mr. Ford," said Triplett.

Triplett said her husband left a note for Ford to call him back.  She said they spoke and it appeared to be a happy ending.

According to Triplett, the January council meeting that she attended brought more drama between her and Ford.

"He was going to file charges against my husband, and that I could continue to play this game.  And in my opinion, that was direct retaliation because I filed an ethics complaint on him," said Triplett.

Councilman Ford made it all clear at the meeting on Tuesday. He said Triplett's husband went too far.

"You don't come to a person's place of business in uniform," said Ford.

Ford said his comments at the December council meeting was simply an invitation for Triplett, or any resident, to attend any of his community meetings to express their concerns. But in return, Ford said the residents in his district may have an opinion too.

Ford wasn't available for an interview Wednesday, but released this statement:

"Yesterday, Mrs. Fran Triplett voluntarily decided to display her personal matters in the public forum, referencing me personally. As a Council member, I have absolute, legislative immunity to address any and all issues before the body and have the full right to respond accordingly. This being said, Mrs. Triplett has no claim, especially since her matters yesterday were not relevant to City business.

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