Surveillance video shows arrest of Commissioner Ford

Justin Ford (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Justin Ford (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Surveillance footage shows Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford being arrested in a Memphis parking lot in April 2017.

Ford accepted an Alford plea for domestic violence Monday after being accused of hitting his girlfriend. He was sentenced to 11 months of probation.

The video obtained by WMC5 shows Ford and his girlfriend pull into the parking lot at Church's Chicken. According to the time stamp on the camera, it was 8:46 p.m. The car stops for a second before eventually parking.

Moments later, the driver's side door opens and then closes, which happened several times before police were called.

Employees at Church's Chicken on Poplar Avenue called 911 because of what they saw happening in the parking lot. Police arrived 13 minutes later.

"Nothing happened that night," Ford said.

On Monday, Ford accepted an Alford plea, in which the defendant maintains their innocence but admits there is enough evidence against them that they may not win the case if it goes to trial.

"Never have I hit a woman," Ford said.

The surveillance footage does not show any violence in the parking lot, but it does show Ford being arrested.

Ford's attorney said the vehicle is not proof that anything happened.

"It's not very telling. I mean, you can see commotion in the vehicle, but you can't actually see who is doing what, the details," Coleman Garrett, Ford's attorney, said.

But, Memphis police say what the video shows is Ford physically assaulting and choking his girlfriend during an argument.

Ford was charged that night for aggravated assault and false imprisonment. He will serve no jail time. In addition to his probation, he will be required to take a class on domestic violence and anger management.

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