County commissioner arrested for choking girlfriend, could lose commission seat

County commissioner arrested for choking girlfriend, could lose commission seat

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford was arrested Monday morning.

Ford is charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment. He bonded out of jail Monday around 5 p.m., but he did not comment on his charges when escorted from 201 Poplar.

Memphis Police Department said Ford physically assaulted and choked his girlfriend following an argument at Church's Chicken on Poplar Avenue in the Medical District. The incident happened around 9 p.m. Sunday.

According to the affidavit, Ford, 32, and his 43-year-old girlfriend were driving in her car when Ford became belligerent. Ford then hit his girlfriend in the face, temporarily blinding her.

She pulled into the Church's parking lot where employees reportedly witnessed a fight between the two. She told investigators she kept trying to get out of the car, but Ford pulled her back inside, punched her, pulled her hair, and strangled her until police arrived.

"He should know that is a no, no," Louise Turner said.

"Any man that fights a woman is less than a man," Bernard Lewis said.

Ford is the son of former Shelby County Commissioner and Interim Mayor Joe Ford.

Ford was elected to the board of commissioners in 2010 and serves over District 9. He served as commission chairman in 2014 and 2015. He also ran for Memphis mayor, but withdrew before the election.

If he is convicted of the charges, he could lose his seat on the county commission.

"Even if he's county commissioner, he has to pay just like everyone else," Turner said.

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